Army aghast at veterans ‘jumping gun’ on fatalities : The Tribune India

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Army aghast at veterans ‘jumping gun’ on fatalities

Death of soldiers is announced only after kin are informed

Army aghast at veterans ‘jumping gun’ on fatalities

L-G Manoj Sinha pays homage to Col Manpreet Singh and Maj Ashish Dhonchak in Srinagar. PTI



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, September 14

As an encounter ensued at Kokernag in Anantnag, the Army was battling a barrage over social media on the afternoon of September 13. X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook had been used by some of Army’s own veterans who put pictures of the bravehearts who lost their lives. All this happened before the Army had officially announced the deaths. Information that Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Aashish Dhonchak and DSP Himayun Bhat had been shot dead in the encounter was known among media circles since 1 pm on September 13. The information on social media was not being put out by journalists on Ministry of Defence beat in New Delhi or by reporters in Srinagar, but by veterans, observed an officer. Army headquarters were aghast that veterans had started tweeting pictures and information without waiting for the Army to announce the death. The death of a soldier is announced after the next of kin are informed about the demise. There is a laid-down process which is followed.

A senior officer told the Tribune, “While the media waited for the established protocol of Army declaring the death, before disseminating information about the name and regiment of the officers, our veterans had started tweeting pictures of Col Manpreet Singh.”

Calls were placed to a few veterans informing that there was no clearance to release the name and picture as the operation was still on, but by then the pictures and information had gone viral.

An official said pictures and information being tweeted was akin to some veterans ‘jumping the gun’.

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