Tawang Air Crash Reveals, Remote Army Posts Do Not Keep Body Bags

An elderly family member of late Squadron Leader S Tiwari garlands the body at the Ghaziabad cremation ground on Sunday. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was also present for the last rites

"Fallen soldiers always given full military honour", the army statement said. It also underlined that there was no road connectivity to the crash site.

A Russia-made Indian air force helicopter had crashed on Friday killing all seven personnel onboard.

The soldiers - personnel from the Air Force and the Army - had died on Friday as an IAF Mi-17 chopper crashed at an altitude of almost 17,000 feet in Tawang. The chopper had taken off from an Army helipad at Khrimu, located near the border of Tawang town, and was on its way to an Army location in the hilly terrain. The bodies of the soldiers were brought to Khrimu by air, from where they were flown to an IAF base in Tezpur, Assam.

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.

A statement issued by the army said helicopters can not carry full load because of constraints of the carriage effort in a high-altitude area. "This was an aberration", it said.

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The images reveal that after being wrapped in plastic bags the mortal remains were put in cartons.

Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), who had commanded the northern and central commands, had tweeted picture of the bodies of the military personnel including five from Indian Air Force and two jawans from the Indian Army wrapped in plastics and broken cardboard pieces. "This is how they came home".

"Fallen soldiers (are) always given full military honour". Thereafter, the bodies were placed in wooden coffins and accorded full military honours.

According to Lt Gen Panag, the bodies should had been covered with the appropriate body bags, if the official coffins were not available. It would be kept at the mortuary of Military Hospital at St. Thomas Mount to be handed over to the family on Monday morning, Defence Ministry sources said.

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