Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Another soldier posted with Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the specialist counter-insurgency force in Jammu and Kashmir, committed suicide in Doda district in the early hours of Monday, taking the number of distress deaths by armed forces personnel to 130 this year. Since 2002, about 400 soldiers have killed themselves, while about 100 died after being shot by their colleagues.

In the latest case, the 24-year-old jawan had just returned from leave of absence and had undergone a minor surgery, said sources at the army headquarters. His end came a day after Defence Minister A.K. Antony said even one suicide was a matter of concern.

In another case, the body of a soldier with a bullet wound was recovered in the Kashmir Valley. Officials maintain that most suicides occur after men return from leave of absence. With 80,000 troops, the distress death rate in RR is equivalent to what is reported in the Army.