Mathew Roy, the Indian Army "sahayak" — a Man Friday of sorts to higher-ranking Indian Army personnel in a job that is a leftover from the British Raj era — has been found dead in Nashik, a few days after he went missing and declared absent without official leave (AWOL). Mathew had prominently featured in a sting video, and his death is under suspicious circumstances.
Here are 10 things we know about Mathew Roy and the circumstances under which he was found dead:
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1. Mathew Roy was a Lance Naik in the Rocket regiment, but had been shown in a sting operation by a website helping walk a superior's dog and taking the superior's children to school.
2. This was part of the "sahayak" system that is still prevalent in the armed forces, where a higher-ranking official gets a lower-ranking official as a helper.
3. Later, in a television programme, Mathew had spoken of harassment, effectively blowing the whistle on his seniors and the army.
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4. Senior officials and relatives of Mathew — who hails from Kollam in Kerala — said they had not heard of him since February 25, when he went AWOL.
5. Some sources say his body was found hanging at a pilgrimage spot near Nashik in Maharashtra.
6. Other sources say his body was found in the Deolali Cantonment of the Army, where he worked.
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7. In either case, the police have confirmed that his body was in an advanced stage of decomposition, suggesting that he had died at least three days ago.
8. Relatives of Mathew have said they suspect foul play in his death, because he had told them he had been kept under captivity and subjected to mental stress.
9. Police sources have said they are now probing these allegations.
10. Mathew, who was 33 years old, had worked with the Army for 13 years before this.
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