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Army Jawan Who Featured In Video Criticising 'Sahayak' System Found Hanging

His death raises several questions about harassment that army jawans face.

03/03/2017 9:19 AM IST | Updated 03/03/2017 9:23 AM IST
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An army jawan was found hanging in his room in the Deolali Cantonment of Maharashtra on Thursday. The jawan was in a recent sting operation against the 'sahayak' system in the armed forces.

The Times of India reports that the doctors said that the body of 33-year-old Roy Mathew was decomposed so he might have died several days ago. The report said that he was facing an inquiry because he was part of the sting video. He is also said to have run away from his artillery unit since February 25.

The sahayak (buddy) system is said to have been exploited by senior officers. The sting purported that jawans had to walk the dogs of senior officers, take their children to school or even take their wives shopping.

The newspaper reported a police officer as saying that Mathew had been question by several officers over the sting video and it is also being probed whether he felt harassed as the sahayak of a Colonel rank officer.

The government ordered a probe after videos of exploitation of sahayaks did the rounds of social media. India Today had reported top sources in the army as saying, "The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers are entitled to one domestic help when they travel abroad. The cost is borne by the government. Similarly, if Sahayaks are withdrawn in peace stations, the army has proposed civilian non-combatant help to officers at entitled ranks."

The Army, the BSF and the CISF have come under severe criticism in the recent months over allegations of exploitation.

The video of a BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav complaining of pilferage and poor quality food went viral on social media. It opened the flood gates and was followed by complaints from several other jawans from the armed forces.

The government had promised inquiries into the issues and promised to bring change. But Yadav has alleged that he has been tortured and harassed since his video.

The BSF, right after Yadav's video went viral, had denied all the allegations and even said that Yadav was a habitual offender.

With the allegations of further harassment meted out to these jawans, it raises questions about the suspicious death of Mathew.

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