Srinagar, October 15 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Indian troops’ morale is at the lowest ebb as 478 Indian soldiers and police personnel committed suicide since January 2007. Interestingly, when these lines were being written, there were reports about another soldier taking his life with his service rifle in the occupied territory.
Media reports said, incidents of suicide among Indian forces’ are showing an upward trend for multiple reasons, with Indian army sources disclosing that many soldiers are growing uncomfortable with their role in IIOJK, even fearing that they are effectively becoming an army of occupation.
“We are fighting a legacy of political betrayal, …, rigging in local elections, cynical politics, bad governance, vested interests, religion and regional divides,” the report said citing an interview by an Indian army officer.
A senior police official posted in South Kashmir says the main reason for fratricide and suicide among the armed forces in IIOJK is the “nepotism and biased behaviour” of certain commandants and higher officials towards their subordinates. As an example, he points at the rejection of leave applications of subordinates, especially during emergency situations back in their homes, while the higher-ranked officers and commandants themselves enjoy privileges and special benefits. “A CRPF man posted in Jammu could not get leave even when his father had died,” the police official said. “He broke down and was disturbed for many days after he was denied leave. You can imagine his state of mind under such circumstances.”
Anshu Gupta, a psychiatric social worker, in his paper titled ‘Stress in Indian Army: A Psychological Perspective of Present scenario and Needs’ cites “…loss of contact with friends and family, loss of an individual’s freedom, feeling lonely, being compared with counterparts, fear of death and getting wounded, and feeling guilty,” as one of the main factors leaving deep impacts on the psyche of Indian troops.
Having quoted experts, the report asked how characterless and frustrated Indian army can fight valiant Kashmiris who are waging a justice-based struggle to secure their right to self-determination, as guaranteed by the UN Security Council resolutions.