The number of suicides by Indian troops in IIOJK is continuously increasing as an Indian soldier has committed suicide on Saturday in the Pulwama district of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir region by shooting himself with his service rifle.
The Indian soldier identified as Stephen shot himself at 42 Rashtriya Rifles camp in the Rajpora area of the district.
An official reported that after hearing the gunshot the colleagues of the soldier including him rushed towards the soldier and found him soaked in his own blood.
The number of suicide among Indian troops and police personnel rose to 514 in the occupied territory since January 2007 till date and the numbers are continuously increasing.
Prior to this incident, three Indian soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel had committed suicide in a span of 24-hours.
Authorities had reported one as Anup Kumar who was 28-year-old and was posted on sentry duty at the army’s cantonment zone, the other, Badamibagh who was found hanging from the ceiling.
In other incidents, Lt. Col. Sudeep Baghat Singh had ended his life by shooting himself at an army depot in Khonmoh, located on the outskirts of the Muslim-dominated capital. Another 24-year-old soldier shot himself at an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.
Earlier in March, the Indian Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik had informed the Lower House, Lok Sabha that in 2019 there were 95 suicide cases among army, navy, and air force personnel. The most were reported by the army, with 73.
In 2018, there were 107 registered suicide cases while in 2017 the count was 103. It is to be noted that more than half of these cases happened in the IIOJK.
Experts have cited the increasing numbers are because of possible institutional deficiencies, oppression on civilians, guilty mind, workplace ill-treatment, ambiguity in the aim, high civilian casualties, or a lack of visible success.
Army Col. K. C. Dixit in a 2009 study makes an interesting observation related to the conflict operations witnessed in the Kashmir region.
Dixit wrote, “Ambiguity of aim, lack of visible success and high casualty rates tend to erode morale among security forces,”
Another study in 2019-2020 by the United Service Institution of India (USI), a service think-tank, came to similar conclusions.
According to one of its findings, there has been a significant increase in stress amongst army personnel in the last two decades owing to operational and non-operational stressors.