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2 lakh soldiers attend yoga classes in J&K

Yoga is the answer for all those army men leading a life in constant fear on the border, reports Zorawar Singh Jamwal.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 17:19 IST

To get rid of stress, which recently led to various fatal causalities, over two lakh men in olive-deputed in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir-are now regularly attending yoga classes at their respective units.

Away from home, under constant pressure, life of a soldier is full of stress, especially if operating in a conflict zone like Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Army and paramilitary forces fighting militancy are also prone to panic reactions by soldiers. As stress in uniform has become an official truth, security agencies are employing various techniques to combat stress among troops.

And Yoga is one among those that have attracted majority of army personnel.
“Army has also hired Yoga teachers in some of the units to impart Yoga course to the army personnel,” official sources confirmed to Hindustan Times adding that “recently a disciple of Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev was invited at Dilkush in 16 Corps to train some of the army personnel how to exercise Yoga. After seeking training, those army personnel were further given the task to impart the similar type training to their colleagues as well.”

Statistics placed by the then Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament showed 66 soldier suicides in 2002, 96 in 2003, 100 in 2004 and 71 till November in 2005.

The number of “assault and affray” cases - including battering of officers or violence among troops - was 95 between 2002 and 2004 and 18 till November in 2005. A separate table on murders shows six killings in 2002, 16 in 2003, 18 in 2004 and 16 till November in 2005.

Cases of suicides and opening fire on their colleagues and other similar reactions are now referred to as “panic reactions”.

“Actually Yoga is not a new concept in Army, though, it was taken lightly as the level of stress was almost negligible couple of decades ago,” informed a senior army officer on the condition of anonymity.

“But now the same has tremendously increased and that too in past few years, so special attention is being paid nowadays,” he informed.

“Every morning, army jawans including their senior officers are attending Yoga classes, however, in the terrorism-infested belts like that of Rajouri, Poonch and Doda districts, the activity is once a week,” revealed sources.

Some ‘fragging syndromes’:

January 25, 2006: CRPF constable Avtar Chand gunned down four of his colleagues injuring one critically–inside heavily guarded CRPF (96 Battalion) camp housed in Firdous cinema in downtown Srinagar.

April 02, 2006: After apparently being denied leave, a CRPF soldier Anand Kumar Singh opened indiscriminate fire on his colleagues at the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's official residence at Jammu, killing three.

April 20, 2006: A BSF Inspector Chander Paul committed suicide by hanging himself in his room inside a training centre at Srinagar.

June 16, 2006: Commissioned in the Indian Army just about eight months ago, the 25-year-old female Army officer Lieutenant Sushmita Chakraborthy from Bhopal shot herself at Udhampur, where she was posted in officer's mess of the 5071 Army Service Corps (ASC).

October 21, 2006: Three army jawans were killed and two others injured when a soldier fired indiscriminately inside an army camp at Narian in border district Rajouri.

October 23, 2006: An army jawan gunned down his two colleagues before ending his life in Budhal belt of Rajouri district.

October 28, 2006
: Satyam Kumar, a signalman at Northern Command in Udhampur district, opened fire with his service rifle at a guard commander Hawaldar Padamranjan, killing him on spot.

October 31, 2006: An army jawan SC Bahra of 28 RR gunned down his senior officer Lt Col Saket Saxena after he was denied of sanctioning of leave at his unit in Dara near Harvan in Srinagar.

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 16:25 IST