Hit by terrorism for nearly two decades, Kashmir valley has witnessed a sharp rise in suicide cases over the past two years owing to varied reasons ranging from unemployment to marital discord.
While 61 persons committed suicide in the 12 months of 2006, the figure has shot up dramatically this year and stands at 42 for the first five months of the current year, police sources said.
"A person commits suicide when he or she reaches the extreme condition of hopelessness. This situation is generally created when a society hankers after materialistic needs," Dr Hameedullah Shah, medical superintendent of the only Government-run psychiatric hospital of the valley, said.
Shah said the society in Kashmir face many issues which strengthen the tendency of suicide among the residents of the valley.
Asked if the nearly two-decade turmoil had any role to play in the rising number of suicides, Shah said an environment which is not congenial for proper physical and psychological growth leads to decrease in the levels of tolerance among human beings.
"Violence all around you and that too for a sustained period of 17 years is in no way conducive to good physical and psychological growth," he said.
Shah said violence may not be directly responsible for suicides in Kashmir but it does create a situation whereby a person might contemplate or attempt to end his or her life.
The other factors responsible for most of the suicides in the valley are failed love affairs, failure of students to meet the expectation of their parents and marital discord, he said.