A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan allegedly shot himself on Thursday while on duty inside a camp at Tral town in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said.
They said that Beeru Ram Regar, a constable with the 180th battalion of CRPF, apparently shot himself in his abdomen in the afternoon. Regar was rushed to the army hospital in Srinagar, where his condition was stated to be critical.
CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said that Regar was alone in his bunker when the incident happened.
“On the face of it appears that he shot himself but we are trying to get details. The commanding officer of the battalion was also not at the location as he was in a meeting. So, it is not completely clear what happened,” Yadav said.
“Since he was in a bunker and mostly the men remain protected above the waist, it seems that the injury was self-inflicted,” he added.
The incident came days after a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan posted videos on his Facebook page alleging they were being served bad quality food at a camp in Jammu and Kashmir.
Yadav said that Regar was from Rajasthan and was in his thirties. “It will take time to ascertain about the reasons if he tried to shoot himself,” he said.
Suicides and fratricides are common among CRPF and army men deployed in Kashmir valley to combat militancy.
There is no government data about such incidents last year, but Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) has said as many as seven army and paramilitary forces personnel committed suicide posted in the state.
“Out of the seven cases, four were from the army including two officers of major ranks, two BSF personnel and one CRPF personnel,” the prominent human rights body said in its report.
Yadav said that the force has been keen on constantly improving the conditions of the jawans, including giving liberal leaves besides providing recreational and entertainment facilities.
“We are a very big force over 300,000 in number across the country. Of this number there are a few cases of suicides,” he said.
As the level of violence has reduced as compared to 1990s and early 2000, there has been a decline in the number of fratricide and suicide cases among security forces in the state. In 2007, there were 12 cases of suicide by CRPF personnel across J-K, 8 in 2008, 3 in 2009, 4 in 2010 and 2 in 2011.