NEWS
08/10/2017 2:47 PM IST | Updated 08/10/2017 2:49 PM IST

On Air Force Day, Bodies Of IAF Officials Arrive In Makeshift Cartons From Tawang

Retired Lt General HS Panag's tweets led to concerns of disrespect.

Rtd Lt Gen HS Panag

A tweet posted by (Retired) Lieutenant General HS Panag led to concerns over the Indian State's disrespect towards its security forces on Sunday morning.

Seven members of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army had died in a chopper crash on Friday morning in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang. On Sunday, Panag shared a photograph of their bodies being flown back in cardboard boxes, hastily tied up with makeshift ropes. He published a couple of tweets with a scathing remark.

His criticism of the government immediately sparked off a series of defences as well as more censure from several users of the micro-blogging sites.

Many pointed out the contradiction between the Centre's fierce valorisation of the army and its attitude to its members after their death on the field, summarised below by journalist Nidhi Razdan's tweet.

Security analyst Nitin Golhale asked Panag if the Indian Army had ever used body bags to transport the mortal remains of its soldiers.

To which, Panag replied that the lack of such civilised provisions and dignified apparatus was precisely what he was interested in highlighting.

He also cited the rules regarding the matter followed by the US army.

And finally, posted an image of what a proper body bag looks like.

The incident was more ironic on Air Force Day, celebrated as a tribute to members of the IAF. In another tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "On Air Force Day, best wishes to our courageous air warriors and their families. Their determination and prowess ensure that our skies are safe."

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