Navy sailor commits suicide aboard anchored vessel

An Indian Navy sailor shot himself through his mouth straight into the head, aboard ''INS Talwar'' anchored on dry dock here, on Saturday night, with relatives alleging here that the suicide was a result of “bullying” by seniors.

Melvin Raj (23) from Tamil Nadu was posted here for the past two and a half years and was due to return home on Saturday, when he was reportedly told that his leave has been cancelled.

When contacted, a Naval spokesperson said that a Board of Inquiry has been instituted into the case. “The sailor Mevin Raj was found with a gun-shot wound. He was rushed to Ashwini (Naval Hospital) where he was declared dead on arrival. The relatives have made allegations and the Board of Inquiry would look into all these aspects before arriving at a final conclusion. An inquest would soon be held in this regard.”

However, till late evening the parents and relatives were arguing with the naval authorities at the J J Group of Hospitals where the body was taken for post-mortem. Talking to Decccan Herald, Selvam, a cousin of the dead sailor, said that for the past few months he (Melvin) had been complaining of harassment by seniors. In fact he had already written to higher authorities about the harassment and in his letter also mentioned names of three seniors. The last straw was cancelling his leave at the last moment.

Selvam said that Melvin’s parents suspect that there could be foul play as “till now they have not been told as to where the body was exactly found and moreover the bullet wound is below the jaw and on the head. The parents want action to be taken against the seniors who have been named in Melvin’s letter.”

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