Whistleblower soldier found dead

Whistleblower soldier found dead

Lance Naik Roy Mathew, who was part of a video criticising the sahayak system that went viral, was found dead at the Deolali Cantonment in Nashik district of Maharashtra.

Even as investigation was underway, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command blamed the media for the death of the soldier.

Mathew (33), a gunner, was an orderly attached to what is described as “buddy duties” with a Colonel at the School of Artillery in Deolali. He is from Kollam in Kerala. Lance Naik Mathew had joined army around 13 years ago and was posted in Deolali.

Mathew had reportedly given statements that higher officials were mistreating sahayaks inside the camp and they were made to do petty jobs, including polishing shoes, washing laundry and taking dogs for walks. Visuals were shot using hidden cameras and before posting them, faces were masked.

The soldier had contacted his wife on February 25 and thereafter he was reported missing. In the video, he had raised issues concerning the sahayak system. On Thursday, his body was found in a decomposed state in an abandoned barrack. Initial reports said that it could have been suicide.

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