A news sting operation performed by a news website shedding light on the ‘Sahayak’ system in the Indian army, showed how Army Jawans were forced to do menial duties such as washing officers’ cars, taking care of their kids and walking their dogs. This led to a massive uproar against the Sahayak System, which was a legacy from the British Times.
Roy Matthew (33), who was also featured in the video, was found hanging in an abandoned barrack in Deolali Cantonment, Maharashtra, under suspicious conditions has sparked recent controversy.
The army has called this as a suicide case as the gunners family demanded an inquiry about the condition that led to the death, as they smell foul play. The family has called for an inquiry as they smell something fishy as Roy had not mentioned anything wrong when he called up his wife Fini and told that he had done wrong and was feeling ashamed for the interview he gave to the website. He was wronged by the website, who said that his identity would not be disclosed, but he was recognized by his seniors. Fini also said that Roy hated doing household chores.
On the other hand, the defense ministry is of the opinion that it “may be a result of the series of events which were triggered by media personnel managing to videograph the deceased by asking leading questions on his duties as a buddy without his knowledge.”
They further said that Roy might have felt guilty for portraying the wrong image of his seniors in front of the media.
This is what John Matthew said, about his brother, “The CO (commanding officer) informed me that he had found a body similar to that of Roy, and it was shifted to the local hospital for post-mortem. Other than that we did not receive any other information.”
Even when Roy’s family contacted the Nashik Administration about the whereabouts of their family member, they were informed that the Army had not made and communication with them in this regards.
As per sources, Roy was under the scanner of the Inquiry Panel as the sting operation was uploaded online and Roy was also under the scanner of this inquiry panel. However, he was missing from 25th February from his unit.
Now it will also be investigated as to who was assigned for the “buddy duties” with the Colonel rank officer. One more question which arises in our minds is whether Roy was tortured by his higher ranking officer as police sources said after the video went viral.
The sources further said, “Roy had come under huge pressure.” When the army was contacted to comment on the matter, it said that Roy had been “AWOL (absent without official leave)” within 24 hours when the video was released.