GORAKHPUR: Kanhauli village in Uttar Pradesh's Deoria district plunged into mourning after learning about the death of IAF Group Captain Varun Singh.
Group Captain Singh, a decorated air warrior who was seriously injured in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8, succumbed on Wednesday at a military hospital in Bengaluru, the IAF said.
He was the lone survivor of the crash in which Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 armed forces personnel were killed.
As soon as the death of Group Captain Singh reached his native Kanhauli village, it immersed in grief.
Villagers remembered the IAF officer as a down to earth man who would always put his country first.
Group Captain Singh had visited the village around five months ago after attending a marriage ceremony in Lucknow.
"Bhaiya came to the village five months ago and I took him to the farm to show the crops," said caretaker of the officer's house Chandan Gond with tears in his eyes.
Group Captain Singh's relative 55-year-old Ram Pratap Singh said he always talked to him like a friend.
Sikander Kushwaha of the village said the IAF officer would often tell them to put the country's interests first and would sing the national anthem with huge respect.
Rajiv Kumar Singh, 50, said the officer remained a fighter till his last breath.