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Increasing Suicidal Tendencies in Disputed Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir State By Afshain Afzal

Another suicide case was reported at Indian Army 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar. The Duty Medical Officer (DMO) says, “nothing unusual has happened as it is a routine matter”. He claimed that it is a normal practice that every day two to three cases of attempted-suicide are reported since decades, even before his posting at Base Hospital. He explained that the suicide cases pertaining to specifically Indian Army are usually one to two per month while with regard to Para Military Forces it is four times.

Yesterday too, in an unbelievable incident, Assistant Sub Inspector Amrit Bhardwaj, resident of Bharlipur village of Assam, serving at 33 Battalion CRPF was found dead if he has committed suicide at Battalion headquarters at Kotli. Witnesses informed that he returned from night duty and was fine but they were told next day morning that he committed suicide. One witness said that he saw Amrit Bhardwaj which bore four bullet marks.

Suicidal tendencies among the Indian Army and Para Military Force (PMF) personnel deployed in disputed State of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is on the rise. Every year, the number is gradually increasing. In the last ten years, between 2010 and 2020, over one thousand cases were reported due to many reasons but generally speaking most of them committed suicide or made an unsuccessful attempt after having ordered by their command and seniors to open indiscriminate firing of Kashmiri civilians in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Subedar Kumar, who survived a suicide attempt informed TON correspondent in August 2020, “Hindu Dharam does not allow killing of even animals but I was ordered to open fire on Hindu traders and their dead bodies pricks my conscience. I could not resist the dead bodies”. One of the major reasons is, of course, extrajudicial killings and fake encounters. There are at least three cases last year where stoppage of routine casual leave forced them to shoot themselves. One such last year’s suicide attempt case said, “I did not avail leave since over six months and I had pressure from my house to leave the job if leave is not granted”.

Focusing on suicide cases of Central Reserve Police Force (CRFP) this year, on 12 August 2020, Inspector Damodar from 141 battalion, who was posted at the Shergadi area of Srinagar shot himself with his service rifle but survived.

Another incident took place on 26 July this year when a CRPF personnel posted in Srinagar shot himself dead.

On 19 July, a CRPF personnel committed suicide by shooting himself dead inside the unit lines at Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar.

On 6 July, two Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel were killed in in district courts in Kulgam. It was alleged that they killed themselves by their service rifles after engaging in an argument. However, witnesses present at that claimed that facts are quite different but they cannot disclose as intelligence agencies would eliminate them and their families.  

Similarly, on 12 May, under mysterious condition in two different cases in Anantnag district, two CRPF personnel committed suicide by shooting themselves with their service rifles. m Kashmir’s Anantnag district. In the first incident, Assistant Sub Inspector CRPF Fateh Singh committed suicide by shooting himself with service rifle at Akrun Mattan, Islamabad district Interestingly, it is being claimed that Fatah Singh left behind a suicide note which read, “I am afraid, I may have contracted Corona.” However, there was no evidence for the same as reported by his colleagues. In the second incident Assistant Sub-Inspector CRPF, Bengali Babu resident of Madhya Pradesh committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at his 49th battalion camp in Srinagar.  

On 21 March, another CRPF personnel posted outside Civil Secretariat Srinagar had committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle.

The increasing suicidal tendencies in disputed Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir State cannot be ignored. These are just few months cases and that too confined to CRPF. Someone should ask the next to kin of these personnel how they are feeling. These personnel who joined the forces to serve their country returned their home wrapped in coffins. One wonders how long these personnel would be ordered against their conscience to kill innocent people in fake encounters and extra judicial killings. Did their love ones send them to the forces to come back in coffins and get compensation for their lives? It is high time that the United Nations Organizations, European Union UNHCR, and other international 0rganizations including International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch.

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