An Army jawan, who featured in a sting operation video exposing the Army’s ‘sahayak’ system, was found dead under mysterious circumstances. His body was found in an abandoned barrack in Deolali Cantonment in Maharashtra, The Times of India reported. The decomposed body of Roy Mathew, was found hanging from the ceiling, with doctors saying he possibly died three days ago. TOI quoted police sources who said Mathew had served in the army for 13 years. In the video which showed ‘sahayaks’ tending to the personal needs of officers, Mathew was seen as well.
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Meanwhile, Mathew’s family members said he was in a frightened state when he called them for the last time on January 25. In a statement to news agency ANI, Mathew’s wife Fini Roy said, “He (Roy) called and said channels are playing my visuals and was crying. I want to know what happened to him.”
“Don’t have wealth or political influence, there’s no one to help. I want to know what happened to my son”, said his father. Distraught family of dead ‘whistleblower’ jawan have demanded justice.
As per Army officials, investigations reveal that suicide may be a result of a series of events. “Investigations reveal suicide may be result of series of events which were triggered by media managing to video-graph the deceased by asking leading questions on his duty as a buddy without his knowledge,” Army officials told news agency ANI.
They also added, “It’s likely that guilt of letting down superiors/conveying false impression to unknown individual, led to extreme step. Identity of Army personnel in clipping was hidden. Hence, there is no question of enquiry being ordered against deceased.”
After the video was posted online, an investigation had been launched against Mathew. He had been missing from his artillery unit since February 25. A police source told TOI, “It is being probed if Mathew, who was attached for ‘buddy duties’ with a Colonel rank officer posted as an additional officer at the Artillery Centre in Deolali, had felt tortured or harassed after appearing in the video.” The source also said that Mathew was being questioned by various officials after the video went viral online.
In January, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh uploaded a video where he complained against the ‘sahayak’ system, saying the officers’ wives make the jawans go to beauty parlours and do household chores. He also alleged that they sometimes have to polish the shoes of officers. However, army chief Bipin Rawat had defended the system, saying the camaraderie between ‘sahayaks’ and officers is important.
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