Roy Mathew, whistleblower jawan, found dead; Army says 'guilt' may have spurred 'suicide'

An army jawan who had been part of a sting operation in February criticising the 'sahayak' (orderly) system was found dead under mysterious conditions on Thursday in a barrack in Deolali Cantonment in Maharashtra.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A report in The Times of India said that 33-year-old Sahayak Roy Mathew's decomposed body was found hanging from the ceiling of an abandoned barrack outside the unit lines in Devlavi Cantonment. Doctors said that Mathew could have died three days ago.

CNN-News18 has further reported that the army has said that Mathew committed suicide.

Mathew had gone missing on 25 February, after which he was declared "Absent without leave" by the army and a

According to the Indian Army's official Statement, the suicide could have been prompted by the feeling of "guilt for letting down his superiors or conveying false impression to an unknown individual."

Mathew was among several jawans seen in a video which showed soldiers walking officers' dogs and taking their children to school.

Another report in Hindustan Times says that Mathew's family members suspected foul play in his death and have demanded a probe into his demise.

The distraught family has said that Roy was upset after his videos were played on media channels, as they demanded to know the exact circumstances that lead to his death.

However, the Army in its statement has denied any sort of pressure post the alleged sting operation, stating that the "identities of the Army personnel in the clipping were hidden... hence there is no question of any enquiry against the deceased."

The Army has however, lodged a complaint with the local police and ordered an inquiry into the circumstances leading to his death.

Mathew's death comes after a spate of videos released on social media by BSF, CRPF and other armed forces personnel that alleged poor working conditions and harassment.

The first video was released by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav on 9 January. His social media post on sub-standard food quality had triggered a controversy.

On 15 January, addressing a function organized on the occasion of Army Day, army chief General Bipin Rawat had warned that those using social media to air their grievances could face disciplinary action.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 03, 2017 19:13:52 IST

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