AN Army jawan, who was among those questioned by a police team investigating the case of an 11-year-old boy who was allegedly set ablaze last month, committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at the Mehdipatnam Garrison on Monday morning.
Lance Naik Appala Raju, 32, was rushed to a private hospital where he was declared dead. A PTI report said Raju was questioned by a special investigation team as well as the Army authorities on Sunday night.
Confirming the suicide, an Army statement said, “No suicide note has been found… His suicide should not be taken as an indication of his involvement in the case as wide speculations are being raised, questioning the involvement of the deceased soldier in the Mehdipatnam incident. Probably, the jawan was under immense mental stress due to the ongoing interrogation. The Army is fully cooperating with the police and wants the truth to come out at the earliest.”
On October 8, 11-year-old Shaik Mustafa of Siddiquenagar, which is located inside the Mehdipatnam Garrison, was found with over 90 per cent burns. The boy told the police at the hospital that two Army jawans had set him ablaze after pouring kerosene on him. The boy died the next day and his statement was treated as a dying declaration. The police registered a case of murder against unknown persons.