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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Another suicide in armed forces posted in Jammu and Kashmir: 6 deaths in 19 days

In another suicide among the Indian military stationed in Jammu and Kashmir, a 26-year-old army soldier shot himself dead inside a camp in the Jammu district.

Nitish Mishra was on sentry duty and shot himself in his head inside Raijpir camp in Belicharana on Sunday night. Reports on Monday said that the soldier, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, died on the spot and his body was taken by police for medical and legal formalities.

“The police have started an investigation and a post-mortem of the body was conducted at a hospital this morning and later the body handed over to the concerned unit,” police officials said. The reason for Mishra’s suicide is not yet known, the officials said.

This is the sixth suicide in the armed force since the beginning of the current month. The first in the month was reported on March 3 when lieutenant colonel Sudeep Bhagat shot himself dead at the Khonmoh depot on the outskirts of Srinagar. Bhagat’s death coincided with a border force trooper attempting suicide by shooting himself with a rifle in Srinagar’s Bemina locality. On the same day, a 24-year-old army trooper shot himself dead in the Rajouri district.

On March 4, rifleman Anup Kumar, who was posted on sentry duty at the Badamibagh cantonment, which is the biggest garrison in Kashmir, was found hanging from the ceiling of a post at the main gate with a light machine gun loop.

On March 8, an army trooper who found dead, while he was posted to guard the Line of Control, which divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Trivedi Prakash of 6 Rashtriya Rifles shot himself with his service rifle in Kupwara’s Keran sector and reports had ruled out his death due to Line of Control cross-firing.

On March 11, a Central Reserve Police Force constable Amar Jyoti of 79 battalion was found dead at a camp in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Incidents of suicide and fratricide are not uncommon among the members of the government forces deployed in Kashmir. But last year, the number of these incidents has shot up for reasons that range from the Covid-19 pandemic to a ban on home leave to family issues and heavy duties.

According to a report between January and August 2020, 18 members of the government forces died by suicide and six died in fratricidal incidents, making a total of 24 such deaths in the period.

In 2019, according to the annual human rights review by the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, 19 members of the armed forces reportedly died by suicide while three were killed in a fratricidal incident in Udhampur district.

The total number of deaths by suicide and fratricide for all the 12 months of 2019 was 22.

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