The body of gunner Roy Mathew, who was found dead in army camp in Nashik, was finally taken to his native town of Kollam and laid to rest on Saturday after a second post-mortem at the insistence of his family.
No details have been given of the second post-mortem, which was conducted at the Thiruvananthapuam medical college hospital after district collector S Venkateshpathi gave his nod.
Earlier, Roy Mathew’s relatives alleged that soon after the body arrived at the Thiruvananthpuram airport, army officials accompanying the body were in hurry to take it to his home town in Kollam, 65km away, for cremation.
“Many questions are unanswered. The body is beyond recognition. And the officials who accompanied the body refused to show it to even close relatives including the wife of the deceased,” said a relative of Mathew.
Confusion prevailed for more than two hours after relatives refused to accept the body and insisted on a second post-mortem. Later the district collector intervened and the body was taken to Thiruvananthapuam medical college hospital. After the second post-mortem, it will be taken to his native place by road.
“It is sad the army failed to show much respect to the body. It was wrapped in tricolour only after the district officials protested. It is sad his widow was forced to wait more than two hours at the airport,” said PCC chief V M Sudheeran who paid his tributes at the medical college hospital.
Roy Mathew, who complained of harassment by his senior officers in an interview to a Marathi channel, was found dead near the camp two days ago. Missing since last Sunday, his body was found near the army camp in Nashik in Maharashtra, the commanding officer (CO) informed the family on Thursday. However the family suspected foul play and demanded a thorough probe into circumstances that led to his death.
Although the army said it was a case of suicide, family members of 33-year-old Mathew said they suspected foul play. They are demanding an investigation into the circumstances leading to his death.
However, an army spokesperson on Friday said a “sting operation” conducted by mediapersons may have spurred him to commit suicide.