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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Rising suicides in Indian military posted in Kashmir: trooper shoots himself dead; 4 suicides in past 6 days

In another case of suicide among the Indian military stationed in Jammu and Kashmir,
an army solider committed suicide overnight in northern Kupwara district.

Police sources on Monday told a news agency the a sepoy identified as Triverdi Prakash of 6 Rashtriya Rifles shot himself with his service rifle on Sunday evening at Shakti Post in the Keran area along the Line of Control in Kupwara.

“The reason behind the soldier taking the extreme step is being ascertained,” the report said.

This is the fourth suicide in the Indian army stationed in the disputed region in the past six days.

On Thursday, last week, 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 at Batwara with a light machine gun loop.

Kumar hailed from Haryana’s Bhiwani and the reason behind his taking the extreme step has not been made public yet.

A day earlier on Wednesday last week, lieutenant colonel Sudeep Bhagat shot himself dead with his service weapon 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 last week, a 24-year-old army trooper shot himself dead in Rajouri 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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