Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Army has briefed Defence Minister A. K. Antony about suicide and fratricide in its ranks with the aggregate toll touching 500 since the year 2002.

"The Chief of the Army Staff has briefed the Minister and conveyed the concerns from our part," said a senior officer at the Army Headquarters here.

The Army is believed to have provided statistical data comparing the suicide rates with other armies. It told the Minister that steps were being taken to counsel its troops and step up interaction to detect early signs of stress and depression. The Army is of the opinion that most cases of suicide are due to domestic concerns brought about by prolonged absence of troops from their home against the backdrop of fragmentation of land holdings and general lawlessness in the rural areas.