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India
09 Oct 2017

Why were IAF crash martyrs brought back in cardboard boxes?

Bodies of martyrs in cardboard boxes triggers controversy

Three days ago, an IAF chopper crashed in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang, killing all seven military personnel on board.

But when the bodies of the fallen heroes were brought back in makeshift cardboard boxes tied with ropes, outrage erupted.

Ironically, the incident happened on Air Force Day.

People on social media took to Twitter and Facebook to express anger.

In context

Bodies of martyrs in cardboard boxes triggers controversy

What happened?

Early in the morning on October 6, an Mi-17 V5 carrying five Air Force personnel and two armymen crashed in Tawang, close to the Chinese border. The helicopter was on its way from Khirmnu to Yangste on an air maintenance mission.

Lt Gen HS Panag (R) tweets photo of martyrs' bodies

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Why were the bodies brought in cardboard boxes?

Factors

Why were the bodies brought in cardboard boxes?

According to India Today, the bodies had already been charred badly, and to prevent further damage, officials had to quickly move them to first base in cargo and cardboard boxes.

It is apparently a normal practice in remote hilly areas where resources are few.

The Army's Public Information ADG later tweeted, "Mortal remains…sent wrapped in local resources is an aberration."

'Fallen soldiers always given full military honor'

Protest

Netizens express anger over treatment to martyrs

Despite the clarification, netizens were upset. "Why can't Armed Forces units be given bodybags. Provide dignity to our KIA martyrs," tweeted @JoBeingjoe.

"Is this the manner in which we carry the bodies of soldiers?" posted @Homo_Sapien_6.

"The nation which can't respect it's soldiers can't live with pride," said@husnaziauddin.

A senior IAF official said a court of inquiry has been ordered.

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