Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said police are probing the death of Lance Naik Roy Mathew, who was found dead in an army barrack days after he featured in a sting video criticising the ‘Sahayak’ system in the army.
Responding to questions about the mysterious death of the soldier in Lok Sabha, the defence minister termed it an “isolated incident” and added that consultations are on over the Sahayak system.
“It (Naik’s case) was an isolated incident. Police is carrying out an independent probe.”
He, however, refused to make any further comments on the incident.
“I don’t want to make any comment on it as it would be prejudicial to say anything at this stage,” he said.
Lance Naik Roy Mathew was found dead in a barrack in Maharashtra’s Devlali Cantonment on March 3.
The minister said that consultations are on over the Sahayak system, which came into focus recently after a few soldiers took to social media to air their grievances over the buddy system in the army.
“We are in consultation with all concerned and an appropriate mechanism would be worked out soon,” Parrikar said.
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, responding to the question earlier, said there were a few incidents of complaints by jawans, but it did not reflect the collective mood of the soldiers.
“There are various mechanism to address the grievances of jawans, that include regular holding of ‘Sainik Sammelan’ where the soldiers can raise their problems,” Bhamre informed the House.
Earlier this week, another soldier - Sep Sindhav Jogidas Lakhubhai of the Army Medical Corps - took to social media to attack the ‘batman’ or Sahayak system in the Army. Earlier, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap had posted a video over the same issue.
The Army has said both the soldiers were never assigned any Sahayak roles.