Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 8
Brig LS Lidder, Defence Assistant to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who died in the helicopter crash near Wellington today that killed the country’s top military officer along with 12 others, belonged to Panchkula and was a second generation officer with an impressive career record.
‘A gentleman to the core’
I have known the family for about 30 years and Brigadier Lidder was an extremely fine person, a gentleman to the core, respectful and affectionate. — A neighbour
He is survived by his wife Geetika, a schoolteacher, and a 16-year old daughter, who stay in Delhi. While Brigadier Lidder’s father, Col Mehnga Singh, is no more, his mother is presently residing with his sister, Sukhwinder Cheema, who is a matron at Lawrence School, Sanawar, near Kasauli. Sources said both left for Delhi immediately on hearing the tragic news.
The Mi-17 helicopter carrying the CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, along with his wife Madhulika, Brigadier Lidder, another staff officer, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, who is from the 11 Gorkha Rifles (GR) and 11 other military personnel, including the aircrew, had a crash while making its way from Salur in Tamil Nadu to Wellington.
Brigadier Lidder’s father, who hailed from Punjab, had moved to Panchkula in 1989 and built a house in Sector 12 while he was still in service. According to neighbours, Brigadier Lidder had joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, before the family moved to Panchkula. He had studied in various schools across the country during his father’s military service.
“We had met him in July when he had visited his house along with his mother and brother, who was here from Canada,” a neighbour said. “I have known the family for about 30 years and Brigadier Lidder was an extremely fine person, a gentleman to the core, respectful and affectionate,” he added. A senior retired Army officer said he had met Brigadier Lidder only a few days ago when he had paid a visit to the tricity.
Decorated with the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal, Brigadier Lidder was commissioned into the Second Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in December 1990 after passing out from the Indian Military Academy. He later commanded the same battalion.
Brigadier Lidder had also served in counter-terrorist environment in Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Actual Control in the North-East and commanded a brigade on the border in the northern sector.
Apart from serving as the Adjutant of the Indian Military Academy and Director in the Military Operations Directorate, he was posted as the Defence Attaché in the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan. He is also an alumnus of the National Defence College, New Delhi.
No campaigning in Gen Rawat’s memory
Chandigarh: The BJP, Congress and AAP have asked their candidates not to campaign on Thursday in memory of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, who, along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 defence personnel, died in a chopper crash.
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