Journalist Poonam Aggarwal has been booked by the Nashik Police on Monday in connection with the alleged suicide of Indian Army soldier Lance Naik Roy Mathew. Poonam shot a sting video featuring Mathew. In the video Mathew is seen highlighting the ‘sahayak system’ in the army accusing his seniors of harassment. She is charged with criminal trespass and instigating suicide.
However, Poonam says that this incident is just the repercussion of her story which threw light to a darker side of the Army.
“After my story was published online, I had shared the link with the Army. At that time, they did not raise any question about me entering a prohibited area. Instead, they told me they will probe the allegations made by the jawan in the sting operation.” She said, reported Indian Express. Poonam also accused the internal Army enquiry system for Mathew’s suicide.
As per Scroll reports, she was booked on the basis of a complaint filed by the Army which faced criticism after the suicide. The police have tracked her chats with any Jawam whom she had spoken to while working on her project. The project also revealed the hierarchy of the Army where the soldiers are seen walking dogs of senior officers and taking their children to school, had sparked a controversy over the British-era practice.
“They have given an application expressing concern over the journalist entering a prohibited area with a spy camera and filming an Army premise, which is not allowed. After studying the application, a case has been registered,” an officer said.
Mathew’s family also alleged the Army of his suicide, accusing that he was tortured and deserted for appearing in Poonam’s video. Mathew who had gone missing on Feb 25, was found dead in a room near Deolali Cantonment in Nashik on March 2, one day after the video was aired.