Jammu & Kashmir

As another Armed Forces personnel dies by suicide in Kashmir, officials say ‘depression caused by COVID’

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Srinagar: An armed forces personnel died by suicide on Monday after shooting himself dead with his service rifle in Rambagh area of Srinagar.

A CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Pankaj Singh said that a CRPF man posted at Group Centre Rambagh identified as Pintoo Mondal of West Bengal, shot himself dead and inquiry has been ordered in this regard.

“An inquiry has been ordered as to what forced him to take this extreme step,” Singh said.

A senior CRPF official said that there were multiple reasons why CRPF men are taking extreme steps and one of them is “depression” caused by the COVID outbreak forcing them to not to visit their families.

“COVID has caused a huge level of depression among CRPF ranks as they are following social distancing norms within their units strictly. Secondly, they are not able to avail leave and meet their family members since March this year due to the pandemic,” the official said, wishing anonymity.

The official added that there is an increased level of pressure which has led to the depression among CRPF men deployed in the Valley.

Today’s incident is the second such incident among the CRPF ranks in the past eight days in Kashmir.

On July 19, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died by suicide by shooting himself dead with his service riffle at his unit in Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar.

The deceased was posted with the 29 battalion F-Coy at Pathan Chowk area of Srinagar and was identified as Biswajit Dutta.

An inquiry was ordered to find out the reason that led him to end his life.

Pantha Chowk incident had come just three days after a CRPF man posted at a hotel in Dalgate area of Srinagar accidentally shot himself with his service riffle. He was critically injured and is battling for life at Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar.

On July 6, two Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) men were killed in a fratricidal incident in a court complex in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. The duo according to reports had an argument before shooting themselves dead with their services riffles.

Earlier on May 12, two CRPF personnel died by suicide by shooting themselves with their service rifles in two separate incidents at south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. On the same day, a CRPF Assistant Sub-Inspector, Bengali Babu, died by suicide at his 49th battalion camp in Srinagar.

The same incident was reported outside Civil Secretariat Srinagar on March 21, after the CRPF man died by suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle.

Earlier, before killing the self one of the CRPF personnel had left a note before shooting self, the note read: “I am afraid, I may be Corona positive…. Better to die.”

A senior CRPF official said that every incident is followed by an internal inquiry but one of the main reasons why “boys are taking extreme step” is that they are not able to go on leave and meet their families.

“Back home, their families are worried too, which increases mental pressure for the boys on duty in Kashmir, which is a challenging place. Even though regular counselling sessions are being given to the CRPF men in the morning and evening, still, the level of pressure on their minds remains due to coronavirus outbreak,” the official said.

(Syndicated feed from KNO)


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