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ITBP constable hangs to death in Srinagar: 7th suicide in 20 days in armed forces posted in Kashmir

A constable of Indo-Tibetan Border Police hanged himself dead in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Ajeet Kumar committed suicide by hanging himself at ITBP headquarters in Zewan, 28 kilometres from Srinagar. An official said, “The reason for his death is yet ascertained and a case has been registered in the regard.” This is the seventh suicide in the armed forces posted in Jammu and Kashmir since March 3 this year.

Army trooper Nitish Mishra was on sentry duty and shot himself in his head inside Raijpir camp in Belicharana on Sunday night in Jammu.

The first suicide 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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