Army jawan Arun V’s suicide in Samba military camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday hit the national headlines, but his parents were not officially informed of his death till Thursday noon.
“The army is yet to intimate us officially. One of his (Arun’s) friend’s relative in Kozhikode (north Kerala) informed us about this. We have no idea what really happened in the barracks,” said father PG Viswamohan Pillai.
“My son will not commit suicide. We are sure there is some foul play,” mother Anitha Kumari told HT. The sole breadwinner of the family, Arun was planning to visit his family during the Onam festival in August end. Suspecting foul play, Pillai faxed a message to defence minister AK Antony and sought a high-level probe.
“He used to tell me about the ill-treatment he suffered at the hands of senior officers and how jawans were treated like slaves. Some of the officers even sought money for favours. Those who refused were victimised,” said Kumari.
Arun’s parents and a college-going brother have no idea when his body will be given to them. “We have heard in such cases the army usually alerts the administration. But, we are still in dark,” said Kumari.