M Arvind, a 33-year-old Assistant Commandant of the CRPF posted in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, killed himself on Friday, 23 August, by firing his personal weapon. Arvind had been serving in the CRPF since 2014 and hailed from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
In a statement, the CRPF sought to downplay posts on social media speculating about whether the suicide was triggered by the poor living conditions of CRPF personnel. They also stated that the incident took place at 11:16 pm on 23 August at Arvind’s residence.
"“He returned back from leave on 14th August. His wife joined him at the place of posting on 20th. Initial enquiry leads to some marital problems. No foul play. Enquiry has been ordered. The mortal remains is being sent to his hometown today. There are some reports in social media attributing the incident due to bad living conditions which is untrue.”" - CRPF statement
Journalist Rahul Pandita had tweeted about the incident mentioning the living conditions of the CRPF personnel. He later added the CRPF’s version regarding the “personal problems”.
A senior CRPF officer has just clarified Arvind shot himself because of personal problems. But 5 batchmates of his, serving in Kashmir and elsewhere, say bad living conditions add to stress. https://t.co/mURWni0pZj— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) August 24, 2019
In July 2015, the Centre had told the Rajya Sabha that 228 CRPF jawans killed themselves between 2008 and 2014. Then Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said, "The causative factors in most of the cases were found to be generally the personal and domestic problems, like marital discord, personal enmity, mental illness, depression etc. In few cases, the same could be owing to the work related stress.”
(If you or someone you know needs help, please refer to this state-wise repository of trusted mental health professionals across India, curated by Tata Institute of Social Sciences.)
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