At least eight people have been arrested, two booked and one suspended from a government job, across the country, over social media posts on the death of General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other officers in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, Indian Express reported Sunday. Action over the posts has been reported from Jammu and Kashmir, BJP-run Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, Congress-run Rajasthan, and from Tamil Nadu that has a DMK government.
The most arrests have taken place in Rajasthan one in the hours following the crash and two on Saturday. The Pratapgarh police arrested Manish Kumar Meena, 28, and Jeevanlal Ninama, 25, on Saturday for allegedly posting "offensive" material on the crash. Pratapgarh SP Amrita Duhan said Meena had put up posts on Facebook, the Indian Express reported.
Death of Gen Rawat in crash has raised doubts in the minds of people
Tellingly, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the death of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash has raised doubts in the minds of people.
Shiv Sena is a right-wing ultranationalist political party in India.
Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, was quoed by Press Trust of India as saying that Gen Rawat had played a key role in formulating the nation's military response against China and Pakistan in recent times.
So, when such an accident takes place, it raises doubts in the minds of the people, he said, noting that the helicopter ferrying Gen Rawat was a modern machine powered by two engines.
"We claim to have modernized the armed forces. How could this happen?" he wondered.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force on Friday called for avoiding "uninformed speculation" over the chopper crash that led to the deaths of chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 others.
It said the inquiry would be completed expeditiously and facts brought out, adding until then the dignity of the deceased need to be respected.
India defense chief's death shows flaws in Indian military
Meanwhile, Chinese Communist Party mouth piece Global Times published two comments on Thursday on the copter crash. In a comment titled "India defense chief's death shows flaws in Indian military, 'deals heavy blow' to its modernization," the GT quoted Chinese experts as saying:
death of India's defense chief in a helicopter crash on Wednesday not only
exposed the Indian military's lack of discipline and combat preparedness, but
also dealt a heavy blow to the country's military modernization that could
linger for a long time. But even with India's anti-China top defense figure
gone, the country's aggressive posture toward China along the two countries'
border regions is unlikely to change, analysts added.
A Mi-17V5 helicopter affiliated with the Indian Air Force on Wednesday crashed near southern India's Coonoor, leading to the death of 13 of the 14 people on board, including defense chief General Bipin Rawat, India.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday that the Mi-17V5 is an improved version of the Mi-17, and is equipped with more powerful engines and advanced electronic devices, making it supposedly more reliable.
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