Lance Naik Roy Mathew who was working as a sahayak (helper) in the Devlali Cantonment in Maharashtra disappeared on 25th February and was then found dead on 2nd March in an abandoned barrack in his cantonment; he is believed to have hanged himself.
His disappearance came a day after The Quint carried a sting operation on the sahayak system in the army, in which he featured. We had reported how the so called sting operation was not at all needed as all the facts about the sahayak system were already in the public domain. Later reports claimed how the Journalist covering the incident had interviewed Mathew without him knowing the fact that he was being recorded and that the recordings of the same even gave away his real identity.
This seemed to have scared Mathew who thought he would get into trouble with his superiors, which led to him taking the extreme step, even though the army put out a press release stating there was no question of an inquiry getting ordered against him.
This malicious carelessness of the journalist and the media house has prompted Ankit Gupta, the President of an NGO named Citizen4Forces to file a complaint against Poonam Aggarwal, the journalist, for abetment of suicide, abetment of desertion of a soldier, causing death by negligence, mischief, and also committing an offence under the Official Secrets Act. This complaint is addressed to the Commissioner of police Delhi.
The NGO, founded in 2011, works to assist the armed forces and highlight the sacrifices carried out by them. They also organise various events in support of the armed forces and also organise discussions about the issues which plague the security of the country.
Ankit Gupta, the President of the NGO, mentioned in his complaint that the journalist had entered the Army Cantonment wearing a secret camera, which in itself was a violation of Army laws and of the Official Secrets Act. He also claimed that the journalist had edited Mathew’s statement so as to make it overtly sensational. The complaint then reiterated the chain of events which culminated in the unfortunate death of Mathew.
He requested the Commissioner to take note of his complaint and take strict legal action against the journalist so as to serve a deterrent against such form of journalism. He also requested for an FIR to be filed based on his complaint and also urged an investigation in the alleged offences some of which according to him were non-bailable.
You can read the full complaint below: