Jawan suicide: Reporter who shot sting is booked under OSA, for abetment

Official sources said a case was registered after the Army submitted an application to Nashik police, complaining against the journalist for illegally entering a prohibited area.

Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: March 28, 2017 11:28 am
Jawan suicide, jawan kills himself, Lance Naik Roy Mathew, jawan committed suicide, jawan sting video, sahayak, buddy system, indian army, kerala jawan, superior officer, Roy Mathew, India news, media, Indian express Lance Naik Roy Mathew

A month after the alleged suicide of Lance Naik Roy Mathew following the release of a sting video on the news website The Quint, in which he had spoken on the “sahayak” system in the Indian Army, Nashik police Monday booked journalist Poonam Aggarwal under sections of the Official Secrets Act and those relating to criminal trespass and abetment to suicide under the Indian Penal Code.

Official sources said a case was registered after the Army submitted an application to Nashik police, complaining against the journalist for illegally entering a prohibited area. The Army also accused the journalist of posing ‘leading questions’ to Mathew while carrying out the sting operation. The Army asked the police to treat the application as its complaint.

Read | Why Sahayak is ‘buddy’ for Army, ‘servant’ for critics

“After studying the application, we have registered a case against Aggarwal under Sections 3 and 7 of the Official Secrets Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code for criminal trespass and abetment to suicide,” said a senior officer at the Maharashtra Police headquarters. Police had recorded Aggarwal’s statement recently.

“They have given an application expressing concern over the journalist entering a prohibited area with a spy camera and filming an Army premises which is not allowed. After studying the application, a case has been registered,” the officer said.

Read | Army blames media for death of whistle-blower soldier Roy Mathew

Sources said during her questioning, the journalist had shared details, including those of contacts who helped her enter the Deolali cantonment where the sting video was shot. Police have collected the original video footage from the journalist — the website had removed the video and the report.

“She has given us a chronology of the events leading to the sting operation and has also shared details of the contacts within the Army who helped her get inside the prohibited area. She has even shared her chats with various jawans whom she had spoken during the course of her story on an app-based messenger service. We have taken a copy of those chats,” the officer said.

Read | None responsible for my death, says Lance Naik Roy Mathew in diary

Reached for comment, Aggarwal said: “After my story was published online, I had shared the link with the Army. At that time, they did not not raise any question about me entering a prohibited area. Instead, they told me they will probe the allegations made by the jawan in the sting operation. The allegation of trespass seems to be an afterthought.” She claimed that Mathew committed suicide because of an internal inquiry carried by the Army. An email and text messages to The Quint remained unanswered.

Mathew was found hanging on February 25 after the sting video of him criticising the ‘sahayak system’ in the Army went viral. Police recovered a diary from the abandoned barrack where his body was found. A note in Malayalam described the circumstances that made him take his life. In the note, Mathew feared he would have to face a court-martial for allegedly speaking out against the Army. Police are awaiting the forensic report to confirm whether the note was written by Mathew.

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First Published on: March 28, 2017 2:45 am
  1. I
    indian
    Mar 28, 2017 at 3:00 am
    Zero ethics in Indian journalism
    Reply
    1. A
      Abhivadan Vashisht
      Mar 28, 2017 at 6:40 am
      Finally this fame hungry journalist Poonam Aggarwal is booked, and she must be put behind the bars. But the justice is still far away for the family of the deceased Jawan. Strong action must be taken against the news house who, just for their cheap agenda and TRP are now hounding army soldiers.
      Reply
      1. A
        ArmyBrat
        Mar 28, 2017 at 6:36 am
        Indian express you are uselsss. Your moderator is doped I think. He/she doesn't allow people to make logical comments and let such gadhas write comments.
        Reply
        1. A
          ArmyBrat
          Mar 28, 2017 at 6:28 am
          The reporter is not just responsible. The Army is first responsible for the harment on jawaan then the reporter who stinged him. With sting or without it doesn't change the fact that the deceased jawaan spoke truth. When the reporter informed Army before releasing the story, they cannot accuse the reporter of tressping. No jourbalists or visitors can enter Cantt areas without written entries at gates so how they accuse of tressping? The Army is forst responaibke for his death then the reporter (if at all). You never they might have hared him a lot (happened in many cases) after the sting and reporter told them about it; that wud have caused enough fear in him to commit suicide.
          Reply
          1. A
            ArmyBrat
            Mar 28, 2017 at 6:37 am
            They should abolish it right away. The sahayaks are trained jawaan who should be doing their actual duties of serving the country not officers and their wives.
            Reply
            1. A
              ArmyBrat
              Mar 28, 2017 at 11:12 am
              Since you claim to know so much about Army let me ask you, what is the procedure at the entrance of Cantt areas? What is the procedure of meeting jawans inside a military area for a research or story? Let me tell you, having grown up in Cantts, even an officer's family is checked when they leave or enter the premises. The press reporters are asked to submit press cards, write name of concerned officer that he/she is scheduled to meet, undergo frisking and then enter the desired office/home. What were the guards who checked her doing? When Army checks, they check in detail without male or female restrictions. How did the camera p the entrance without checking bcoz it was not a sting as alleged. The reporter after talking to jawan spoke to senior officers (which is necessary for any reporter to speak to both sides) so what were the Army officers doing then. She showed the clip to them on which they said they will inquire into the matter. Secondly when the reporter revealed her story, tape and informed the Army before the story, hiw are they alleging its a sting and finding it illegal? Why are they waking up to "tressping" now?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Army even began an inquiry and in the same period jawan committed suicide. Everyone knows how those who go against bosses are treated. He wasn't different. You think only watching that so-called sting killed him not the inquiry, screaming and torture of his seniors? Dont you know wat Tej Bahadur of BSF underwent after posting that video? He posted that video himself still faced the consequences of it.
              Reply
              1. A
                ArmyBrat
                Mar 28, 2017 at 11:13 am
                Since you claim to know so much about Army let me ask you, what is the procedure at the entrance of Cantt areas? What is the procedure of meeting jawans inside a military area for a research or story? Let me tell you, having grown up in Cantts, even an officer's family is checked when they leave or enter the premises. The press reporters are asked to submit press cards, write name of concerned officer that he/she is scheduled to meet, undergo frisking and then enter the desired office/home. What were the guards who checked her doing? When Army checks, they check in detail without male or female restrictions. How did the camera p the entrance without checking bcoz it was not a sting as alleged. The reporter after talking to jawan spoke to senior officers (which is necessary for any reporter to speak to both sides) so what were the Army officers doing then. She showed the clip to them on which they said they will inquire into the matter. Secondly when the reporter revealed her story, tape and informed the Army before the story, hiw are they alleging its a sting and finding it illegal? Why are they waking up to "tressping" now?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Army even began an inquiry and in the same period jawan committed suicide. Everyone knows how those who go against bosses are treated. He wasn't different. You think only watching that so-called sting killed him not the inquiry, screaming and torture of his seniors? Dont you know wat Tej Bahadur of BSF underwent after posting that video? He posted that video himself still faced the consequences of it.
                Reply
                1. A
                  ArmyBrat
                  Mar 28, 2017 at 11:21 am
                  You are wrong brother. Abs wrong.
                  Reply
                  1. T
                    Tipse
                    Mar 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm
                    Book Narendra Modi too forlt;br/gt;killing 3000 in 2002 post Godralt;br/gt;killing 100 by demonetizationlt;br/gt;Wiping his face with national flag at least
                    Reply
                    1. T
                      Tushar
                      Mar 28, 2017 at 4:33 am
                      But still there is no action againsy buddy system 😛..wot journalist did was violation of rule though .... Infact even army became vigilant about the prohibition of journalist inside the compound only after he suicides..other wise they were really careless about
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kay Singh
                        Mar 28, 2017 at 1:37 am
                        Good. Make an example of this journalist. A journalist is supposed to report genuine developments
                        Reply
                        1. D
                          Dilip Kumar
                          Mar 28, 2017 at 6:49 am
                          The Sahayak system in the Army did not start today. This was a hangover from the British days. Before that it was prevalent in all the Kingdoms in India and abroad also. The system is bad and has to be discontinued. But for that one doesnt have to bribe Army guys, get into prohibited places and take video on Spy cameras. That was stupid. There should have been nationwide debates, discussions with MPs, Ministers etc and pressure should have been put on the Army. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The reporter who used Spy cameras should be dealt with legally, and has to suffer the consequences.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Against Sick
                            Mar 30, 2017 at 9:33 am
                            very good decision. The journalist must be brought to justice and the portal QUINT must be shut down. Enough of ISI backed spying under the guise of being a journalist
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              Krishna
                              Mar 28, 2017 at 3:19 am
                              A mad man's comment.Throw him in some pagal khana so that he never gets back to his senses.
                              Reply
                              1. G
                                Guru
                                Mar 28, 2017 at 4:02 am
                                The Truth Will Set You Free.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Satymeva Jayate
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  Jatin Sharma
                                  Mar 29, 2017 at 3:12 pm
                                  Shooting the messenger is an old tactics. This time they are daring others with osa so that distance will be maintained next time.
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    kjingar
                                    Mar 28, 2017 at 6:34 am
                                    The army must reinvent itself and get rid of British era culture.
                                    Reply
                                    1. K
                                      Kunjan
                                      Mar 28, 2017 at 4:20 am
                                      Now medias and jouranlists are vying with each other in falsifying and sensationalising news. Lot of problems are created due to this. They should be aware that they have to be accountable for their work. Strict action should be taken against them. In kerala, the Advocates provided some harsh punishment to them,. That is not enough.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Mahender Goriganti
                                        Mar 28, 2017 at 2:34 am
                                        Actually they should file cases against all the Islamic express mycologists and journo
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Mahender Goriganti
                                          Mar 28, 2017 at 2:26 am
                                          Sic Jihadi, no relavence.
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Prof Vijayan
                                            Mar 28, 2017 at 5:33 am
                                            Indian media and journalists have a great responsibility to highlight positive aspects and to refrain from giving undue importance to negative. There is no harm in working against negative enies, but often our journalists fail to identify enies responsible for creating negative aspects. Their over enthusiasm to please their business bosses is often detrimental to the growth and security of the country since they have to cater to the narrow-minded politics of the bosses. Do not concentrate on blindly attacking democratically elected governments. Instead appreciate positives and point out reformations to be implemented to curb negatives
                                            Reply
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