The mysterious death of a soldier who featured in a sting video on the debated sahayak (buddy) system in the Indian Army is also being blamed on the media house that conducted it without his knowledge.
Lance Naik Roy Mathew was suspected to have committed suicide after he was found hanging from the ceiling of an abandoned barrack in the Deolali cantonment on Thursday.
Roy’s family, the soldier had been missing since the release of a sting video in which he was seen doing chores for his senior official like walking the latter’s dog and taking his children to school.
Utterly heartbreaking. Army jawan Roy Matthew’s wife today. pic.twitter.com/oWMahxN7I0— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) March 3, 2017
The Tribune quoted Army officials as saying that Roy’s been absent since February 25 and an official press release said that his death could be the result of a “series of events” after the sting operation which recorded him on the sahayak system without him knowing about it.
The ministry has said that the “guilt factor of letting down his superiors or conveying false impression” had influenced his death.
The Army has said there was no inquiry against him since his face had been blurred. Some family members have alleged that the soldier was being mentally tortured.
The Army’s official statement on jawan Roy Matthew’s death puts a very harsh spotlight on news website that did the ‘sahayak’ sting. pic.twitter.com/cqH7Os8VWF— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) March 3, 2017
The Quint, which conducted the sting operation, has since pulled down the video and not said anything on the issue yet.
The police has also found a diary belonging to the soldier in which he has reportedly claimed the voice in the video didn’t belong to him and that he would rather ‘die than face a court martial’, reports The Times of India.
The report says that he had also written an apology to his wife, family and the officer under whom he was serving.
Here are some reactions to the developments so far and most of them were critical of the media outlet:
That the Sahayak system should be abolished is a different topic. Right now, it’s about a soldier who committed suicide because of TheQuint— Nupur (@UnSubtleDesi) March 4, 2017
Gunner Roy Mathew was no ‘whistleblower’ as some erroneously claiming. He was just a simple Sahayak stung & army claims it killed him— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) March 3, 2017
Meanwhile, The Quint has simply wished away the story and taken it offline, offering zero explanation.— Manisha Pande (@MnshaP) March 4, 2017