KOLLAM: An army officer from Karuvelil, near Ezhukone, is feared dead at Nashik in Maharashtra on Thursday.
The officer, 33-year-old Roy M, serving as a Gunner with the 214 RKT Regiment at Nashik, is said to have been missing from the camp since February 25. Relatives of the officer said the Commanding Officer (CO) with the regiment informed them a body that could be Roy’s was found outside the camp on Thursday.
“Around 9 am, the CO informed us a dead body similar to that of Roy has been found. The officer also told us the person has been dead for three days and so the body was being shifted for postmortem,” said John, Roy’s brother.
The family has not received any further communication from the Army.
Roy, who has been with the Indian Army for the past 13 years, was posted to Nashik a year ago. “The last time he talked with his wife Fini Roy he said he had made a mistake. He told her he had talked about the harassment by senior officers at the regiment to a local news channel. He was mentally disturbed as he feared the act would cost him his job. Since then we haven’t heard from him,” he said.
A two-member crew (who didn’t reveal they were working for the channel) approached Roy and two other officers on February 25. The crew asked the three officers about the life in the Army and about the hardships in the force.
“As the conversation was of a casual tone, the three officers opened up. They spoke about the harassment at the hands of their superiors. They revealed they were forced to do menial jobs including laundry, kitchen work and others,” John said.
The officers also told the crew their superior officers’ wives directed them to do jobs outside their work profile. “They did not know their revelations were recorded. When Roy arrived back at the camp, he was horrified to see the visuals of the talk on TV. He got scared,” John said. He called his wife around 8.15 pm and briefed her about what had happened. “Since then, his phone has been switched off.”
Roy’s family told Express, Fini had submitted a complaint with the Chief Minister, the Kerala Police Chief and Leader of the Opposition seeking urgent intervention from them on March 1. In her petition, Fini said Roy last visited his homeland on December 3 and returned to Nashik on December 28.
She said on February 25, he had called her up earlier than his usual time of 9 pm. “A day or two after that a friend of my husband’s posted in Rajasthan called us and inquired about him. The friend told us he has not reported for duty and asked whether he had arrived here. I solicit your help and intervention in tracing out my missing husband,” Fini’s petition said.
With Roy’s suspicious death, the family is now demanding a thorough probe into the circumstances that led to his death.