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Army Says Wrapping Martyrs’ Bodies In Cardboard Was ‘Aberration’ And Will Not Be Repeated

Published on 9 October, 2017 at 4:37 pm By

Seven soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces died on Friday in an IAF Mi-17 chopper crash at an altitude of 17,000 feet in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Out of the soldiers who lost their lives were five Indian Air Force personnel, including the two pilots, and two were soldiers of the Indian Army. Army personnel deployed in the area gathered the mortal remains of the martyred soldiers and took them to a hospital in another Mi-17 for postmortem.

Two days after the death of soldiers due to crash, pictures of their bodies wrapped in plastic bags and tied in cardboard boxes surfaced on the internet and caused outrage among some people.


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Corpses of martyred soldiers were wrapped in plastic bags and cardboard boxes.  Twitter

Ex-serviceman Lt. Gen H.S. Panag took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the treatment given to the corpses of martyred jawans:

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also expressed his outrage on Twitter. Here is what he wrote:


Gautam Gambhir, too, opined that the way in which mortal remains of the Indian armed forces personnel were treated was shameful:

IAF क्रैश के शहीदों के शव…शर्मनाक! माफ़ करना ऐ दोस्त, जिस कपड़े से तुम्हारा कफ़न सिलना था वो अभी किसी का बंद गला सिलने के काम आ रहा है !!! pic.twitter.com/fOWyymhozb


Zee News reports that in reaction to the fury over treatment given to martyred soldiers’ bodies, the Army issued a statement:



Due to constraints of the carriage effort in high altitude area, helicopter cannot carry the full load. Mortal remains were wrapped in available local resources instead of improvised body bags or coffins. This was an aberration. Mortal remains arrived at Guwahati base hospital by 2 pm on 6 October and thereafter post-mortems and other formalities commenced. Immediately after the post-mortem, all the mortal remains were placed in the wooden coffins with full military honors. Consequent to paying of tributes as per full military honors, mortal remains of all the personnel have been sent to respective next of kin. Carriage of mortal remains, wrapped in local resources as in this case, is an aberration. Body bags, wooden boxes will be ensured.

The Indian Army also took it to Twitter clarifying that the mortal remains wrapped in “local resources” was an “aberration” and will not be repeated. The tweets also said that the bodies were given full military honors and were sent to martyrs’ families in coffins draped in national flag. Have a look at the tweets here:

The Economic Times reports a government officer saying that removing the bodies of the soldiers from the crash site was the first thing to be done and that the soldiers carrying out the recovery process made use of the best out of the available resources.

It was pointed out that there was no time for procurement of body bags or coffins from a base close by since the bodies were lying in the open at the crash site. The report says that at the police station where an FIR was filed, the police insisted on opening the wrappings which led to their disarrangement.


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Meanwhile, IAF Chief B.S. Dhanoa said that the reason of crash could be the coming off of the tail rotor of the chopper.

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