Every three days, one military jawan commits suicide
R. Narendra, a young Indian Army soldier committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle while on duty in South Kashmir's Anantnag on October 8. He is the latest of hundreds of Indian military personnel who have committed suicide. Ministry of Defense (MoD) statistics reveals that at least one serviceman from the three defense wings commits suicide every three days.
348 troops committed suicide over 39 months
As many as 348 defense personnel committed suicide whilst on duty from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017, according to MoD data. Of these, 276 soldiers were from the army, particularly those deployed over long periods in Jammu & Kashmir.
Most suicides due to personal reasons
The MoD contends that the motive behind most suicides is personal reasons such as land disputes back home. A military officer said if a serviceman is preoccupied with problems back home, it makes it tougher for him to deal with the strenuous conditions of long-term deployments. The MoD says it's working towards creating a better environment and has trained officers to help distressed soldiers.
Army colonel: Long deployments take a toll
"Long tenures at these stations take a toll on the mental and physical health of a personnel. Training and the pride of serving the nation keeps us going, but sometimes it gets difficult," an Army colonel said.
R. Narendra's parents dispute Army's claims of suicide death
Meanwhile, the parents of deceased soldier R. Narendra, have contested the Indian Army's version of their son's death. His mother Pushpa said her son sounded normal, not depressed, in a video call on October 8. "If my son committed suicide let the Army officials show us the evidence," she said. "We will seek legal help to ascertain the exact cause of my son's death."