New Delhi: An Army officer allegedly shot himself dead at a forward post in Tangdhar sector in Kupwara district along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Monday.
The deceased has been identified as Major Fayazullah Khan, a company commander of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, they said.
The officials said the reason for the suicide was not immediately known.
According to a recent study published by the tri-services think tank United Service Institution of India (USI), more than half of the Indian Army personnel seem to be “under severe stress” and the armed forces have been losing more personnel every year to suicides. The think tank deleted the report later.
According to The Print, the study – which created a storm in defence circles – was done by Colonel A.K. Mor, who was a senior research fellow at the USI during 2019-20.
Colonel A.K. Mor noted: “Prolonged exposure of Indian Army personnel to CI (counter-insurgency)/CT (counter-terrorism) environment has been one of the contributory factors for increased stress levels.”
However, Army chief General M.M. Naravane reportedly dismissed the report, saying it was based on an inadequate sample size of 400. “Based on a sample of 400, we can not say there is stress or no stress. There could be stress. I am stressed too. Stress is not a bad thing. It can result in good work,” General Naravane said.
The report mentioned that the armed forces (Army, Air Force and Navy) have been losing more personnel every year to suicides, fratricides and untoward incidents than in any enemy action.
Over 1,110 soldiers, airmen and sailors died by suicide between 2010 and 2019, the Times of India had reported, underlining the need for much better suicide prevention measures. The figures showed that there were at least 895 suicides in the over 13-lakh strong Army, followed by 185 and 32 in the Indian Air Force and Navy, respectively.
Overall, India has the highest suicide rate in South-East Asia, according to the World Health Organisation.
(With inputs from PTI)
If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers (www.spif.in/seek-help/) they can call to speak in confidence. You could also refer them to the nearest hospital.