Army Jawan Who Featured In Video Criticising ‘Sahayak’ System Found Dead

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 03: Roy Mathew, an army jawan hails from Kerala was found dead near his camp in Deolali Cantonment of Maharashtra, barely a few days after he accused senior officers of harassment, his family members said on Friday.

The jawan was in a recent sting operation against the ‘sahayak’ system in the armed forces.

The Times of India reports that the doctors said that the body of Roy Mathew was decomposed so he might have died several days ago.

 Though the army believes it to be a case if suicide, family members of gunner Roy Mathew, 33, said they suspect foul play. They have demanded a probe into the circumstances leading to his death.
It is said that he was facing an investigation because he was part of the sting video. He is also said to have absconded from his artillery unit since February 25.

The Army sahayak (buddy) system is said to have been exploited by senior officers. The sting purported that jawans had to walk the dogs of senior officers, take their children to school or even take their wives shopping.

 Roy Mathew went missing on Monday, a day after calling up his wife at Kollam, Kerala to say that he had made a “big mistake”, a clear reference to an interview he had given to a television channel accusing senior officers of mistreatment at the Nashik camp.
His interview to a Marathi language channel was aired on Monday.
Though the channel had assured to keep his identity a confidential, Roy Mathew told his wife, his senior officials came to know about it.
Roy’s wife, Fini Mathew, said after the call he was incommunicado for last three days.

A police officer said that Roy Mathew had been questioned by several officers over the sting video and it is also being probed whether he felt hard-pressed as the sahayak of a Colonel rank officer.

The central government ordered a probe after the videos of exploitation of sahayaks did the rounds of social media.

India Today had reported top sources in the Indian army as saying, “IFS officers are allowed to one domestic help when they travel abroad. The cost is born by the government. likewise, if Sahayaks are withdrawn in peace stations, the army has proposed civilian non-combatant help to officers at entitled ranks.”

The Army, the Border Security Force and the Central Industrial Security Force have come under severe criticism in the recent months over allegations of exploitation.

The video of a Border Security Force jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav complaining of pilferage and poor quality food went viral on social medias. It opened the flood gates and was followed by complaints from several other jawans from the Indian armed forces.

The Central government had promised inquiries into the issues and promised to bring change. But Tej Bahadur Yadav has alleged that he has been tortured and harassed since his video went viral.

The Border Security Force, right after Tej Yadav’s video went viral, had denied all the allegations and even said that Yadav was a habitual offender.

With the allegations of further harassment meted out to these jawans, it raises questions about the suspicious death of Roy Mathew.

Roy Mathew’s wife Fini Mathew, has petitioned to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention over the issue.

Roy Mathew had travelled to his home on December 3 and returned to Nashik on December 23.

He joined Indian Army 13 years ago and was working as a gunner with the 214 Rocket Regiment in Nashik for the past 1 year.