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Rediff.com  » News » Soldiers' bodies in cartons: Controversy after Tawang air crash

Soldiers' bodies in cartons: Controversy after Tawang air crash

October 09, 2017 08:12 IST

Two days after seven military personnel were killed in a helicopter crash in Tawang, images of their bodies wrapped in plastic sacks and tied up in cardboard surfaced on Sunday, triggering an outrage.

This prompted the army to come out with a tweet saying the wrapping of the bodies with local resources was an “aberration” and that the fallen soldiers are always given full military honour.

IMAGE: Lt General HS Panag (retired) posted this image on Sunday lamenting the manner in which the soldiers' were brought home. He tweeted, "Seven young men stepped out into the sunshine yesterday to serve their motherland, India. This is how they came home". Photograph: @rwac48/Twitter

“Seven young men stepped out into the sunshine yesterday to serve their motherland, India. This is how they came home,” tweeted former Northern Army commander Lt Gen HS Panag (retired), along with the images of the bodies.

 

Reacting to the issue, the army’s additional directorate general of public information tweeted that the carriage of the mortal remains in body bags, wooden boxes and coffins will be ensured.

“Fallen soldiers (are) always given full military honour. Carriage of mortal remains in body bags, wooden boxes, coffins will be ensured,” it said.

It said wrapping the bodies in local resources was an “aberration”.

IMAGE: The Indian Army later posted this photo saying that the bodies were later given full military honours and that the previous wrapping was an 'aberration'. Photograph: @ADGPI/Twitter

The photographs were taken when the bodies were in Guwahati, as per an official.

Lt Gen Panag (retired) said proper military body bags must be used to transport bodies from forward locations until ceremonial coffins were available.

Several people on Twitter also expressed their anguish after the images surfaced.

Five Indian Air Force personnel, including two pilots, and two army men were killed when the Mi-17 V5 chopper crashed on Friday morning in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. 

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