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Kashmir: Rising suicides trend in Indian Army

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Last month on 20 January when Major Fayazullah Khan Khan, a company commander posted on the Line of Control in Kashmir, committed suicide.

 According to official figures, one soldier committed suicide every three days in India in 2019, while an estimated 1,100 soldiers committed suicide in the last ten years.

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Government officials say Major Fayazullah Khan Khan was the company commander in the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. He was posted on the Line of Control in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district. He allegedly shot himself with his service revolver. 

One suicide every three days

In India, on average, one soldier commits suicide every three days. Deputy Defense Minister Pad Naik had said in a written reply to a question in the lower house of Parliament (Lok Sabha) that in 2019, there were a total of 95 cases of suicide in the Indian Navy, Air Force and Army. Two suicides were reported in the Navy, twenty in the Air Force and 73 in the Army.

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On the other hand, according to unofficial figures published in the Indian media, between 2010 and 2019, 1110 soldiers committed suicide. They included 895 Army personnel, 185 Air Force personnel and 32 Navy personnel. Thus, the highest number of suicides in the three forces is taking place in the army.

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Although the government says most of the suicides were due to domestic issues or land disputes, the media and ex-military officers have been weakened by the worrisome situation, senior officials have been rude, and have taken leave despite the real need. Reasons such as denial.

The Indian Army’s think tank United Service Institution of India (USI) recently published a report. It said more than half of the Indian Army personnel were under “extreme pressure” and that the number of suicides in the armed forces was on the rise. The think tank, however, later deleted its report.

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According to media report, the publication of this report prepared by US Senior Research Fellow Colonel AK Moore had created a storm in India’s defense sector. Col. said in his report that “Indian Army personnel’s prolonged exposure to counter-terrorism / counter-extremism is one of the factors that put pressure on them.”

However, last month Army Chief General MM Naravane allegedly rejected the report, saying it was based on the cases of only 400 soldiers. “Based on a sample of 400 people, we can’t say whether there is pressure or not,” he said. There may be pressure. I’m under pressure too. Stress is not a bad thing. As a result, things can get better. “

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More soldiers commit suicide than die at the hands of the enemy, according to Interior Ministry figures.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has the highest suicide rate in Southeast Asia. According to the report of the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 139,123 people committed suicide in 2019, an average of 381 people per day. The suicide rate increased by 3.4% in 2019 compared to 2018.

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