Bodies of soldiers killed in Tawang crash sent in cardboard boxes, Army calls it aberration

Two days after seven military personnel were killed in a helicopter crash in Tawang, purported images of their bodies being transferred in cardboard boxes surfaced on Sunday, triggering an outrage.

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

“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 (Retd) HS Panag, 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 that wrapping the bodies in local resources was an “aberration”.

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

Lt Gen (Retd) Panag said that 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 IAF personnel, including two pilots, and two armymen were killed when the Mi-17 V5 chopper crashed on Friday morning in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.


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