Beyond Metros, India, Kerala

Roy Mathew’s suicide may be the result of a series of events, says Army

The Army on Friday issued a statement on the suicide of Lance Naik (L/Nk) Roy Mathew. According to them, he likely took the extreme step owing to media personnel asking him “leading questions” on the ‘sahayak system’ and his “resultant guilt” in letting down his seniors.

“Preliminary investigations have now revealed that the suicide may be the result of a series of events, which were triggered by media personnel managing to video-graph the deceased by asking leading questions on his duties as a buddy without his knowledge. It is very likely that the guilt factor of letting down his superiors or conveying a false impression to an unknown individual, led him to take the extreme step,” said the Army in a statement.

The army jawan from Kerala was found dead near his camp in Nashik, days after he accused senior officers of harassment, said his family on Friday. The body of 33-year-old, Roy Mathew was found on Thursday near his camp in Maharashtra.

Although the army believes it to be a case of suicide, his family members suspect foul play. They have sought a probe into the situation leading to his death. Notably, the alleged suicide comes amid of an epidemic of allegations of poor working environment and harassment experienced by jawans in the army.

Roy went missing on Monday, just a day after he called his wife at Kollam to convey that he had made a ‘mistake.’ Apparently, he was referring to an interview he had given to a news organisation, wherein he had accused senior officers of ill-treatment at the Nashik camp.

“The CO (commanding officer) informed us that a body similar to that of Roy has been found and it was shifted to a hospital for post-mortem. Other than this we haven’t received any other information,” said Roy’s brother John Mathew.

The family contacted Nashik district administration but was told that it was yet to receive any official message on his death.

Roy’s wife has petitioned CM Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his interference on the issue. Roy joined army 13 years ago. He was working as a gunner with the 214 Rocket Regiment in Nashik for the past one year.

The probe is still on in the matter.

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