Kerala

Soldier from Kollam found dead, family seeks probe

Roy Mathew  

A 33-year-old Lance Naik, Roy Mathew, attached to the Nasik Regiment of the Indian Army, hailing from Karuvelil in Kollam district, was found dead in an isolated area off Nashik. His wife and family members were informed of the incident on Thursday morning. His family alleged that mystery shrouds the death. In his last phone call home, Roy had expressed fear for his life.

There are reports that Roy had spoken to an online newspaper about the ‘harassment’ meted out to soldiers like him by senior officers. The interview pertains to soldiers being made to do menial jobs of senior officers. The news went online on February 25. That was the last time he spoke to the family over phone, a close relative of his said.

Roy, who had been serving the Indian Army for the past 13 years, was posted at Nasik a year ago. After a month’s leave with family at Karuvelil he left on December 28 to rejoin duty. His wife, Fini, said mystery shrouds Roy’s death for he had in his last phone call to her on February 25 told that he faced some serious problems with regard to his job.

Fini told presspersons that during the phone call her husband had cried and after that she had never heard from him though he had the habit of calling her every night by 9 p.m. since he was posted at Nasik. Though she tried to contact him, on his mobile phone was constantly switched off.

Three days ago she received a call from a colleague of his now posted in Rajasthan asking whether Roy had reached home in Karuvelil since he had not reported for duty for a couple of days. Sensing something fishy she had three days ago sent letters to the Chief of the Army, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the District Superintendent of Police (Kollam Rural) pleading for help in knowing about the whereabouts of her husband.

It was in the midst of this situation that the call informing his death came from the Nasik unit of the Indian Army.

Family members now want a probe into the death. They said they fear that the death could be linked to the online media carrying the report in question.

A reporter from the media had met him incognito asking about the menial jobs they were made to do by senior officers and Roy responded. The conversation was recorded using spy cameras. This later went online.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 4:21:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/soldier-from-kollam-found-dead-family-seeks-probe/article17396318.ece

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