Malayali Jawan Suicide: Reporter who shot sting is booked after Army’s complaint

Lance Naik Roy Mathew
Lance Naik Roy Mathew

New Delhi, March 28: A month after the alleged suicide of Malayali Jawan Lance Naik Roy Mathew following the release of a sting video on the Online news website The Quint, in which he had spoken about the “sahayak” system in the Indian Army, Nashik police Monday booked journalist Poonam Aggarwal under sections of the Official Secrets Act and those relating to criminal trespass and abetment to suicide under the Indian Penal Code.
As per a report by The Indian Express, a case was registered against Poonam Aggarwal after the Army submitted an application to the Nashik police complaining against the journalist for illegally entering a prohibited area. The Army also accused Poonam Aggarwal of posing ‘leading questions’ to Roy Mathew while carrying out the sting operation. The Army asked the police to treat the application as its complaint.

“The Indian Army have given an application expressing concern over the journalist entering a prohibited area with a spy camera and filming an Indian Army premises which are not allowed. After studying the application, a case has been registered,” a Maharashtra Police officer told to the Indian Express.

According to the report, during her questioning, thePoonam Aggarwal had shared details, including those of persons who helped her to enter the Deolali cantonment where the sting video footage was shot. Police have collected the original video footage from the journalist — the website The Quint had removed the video and the report.

When Indian Express reached for comment, Poonam Aggarwal said: “After my story was published online, I had shared the link with the Indian Army. At that time, they did not raise any question about me entering a prohibited area. Instead, they told me they will probe the allegations made by the jawan in the sting operation. The allegation of trespass seems to be an afterthought.” Poonam claimed that Roy Mathew committed suicide because of an internal inquiry carried by the Army. An email and text messages to The Quint remained unanswered.
Lance Naik Roy Mathew from Kollam, Kerala was found hanging from a ceiling in an uninhibited Army barrack on March 2, after The Quint story featuring him in a sting operation on the ‘sahayak system’ went viral. Roy Mathew had criticized the system in the video and feared a court-martial.
His fears were written in an alleged suicide note written in Malayalam language, recovered from a diary at the abandoned barrack where his body was found. A forensic investigation is underway to prove the accuracy of the note.