Naval probe into sailor's suicide

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 06, 2013 14:40 hrs

Mumbai, Jan 6 (IANS) The Indian Navy has ordered an inquiry into the suicide of a young sailor aboard a ship allegedly due to harassment by his seniors, an official said here Sunday.

Melvin Raj, 23, hailing from Tamil Nadu shot himself in the head Saturday night on board the INS Talwar frigate, anchored at a dry dock in the Mumbai Harbour.

According to Raj's family members, he resorted to the extreme step after his long overdue leave was reportedly cancelled at the last minute.

Indian Navy officials said that all aspects of the case would be revealed in the probe by the Board of Inquiry which would submit its report soon.

Raj was found with a gun shot wound in the head and was rushed to the INS Ashwini Naval Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

His body was Sunday taken for an inquest at the Sir J.J. Hospital. His family members cried foul and pointed a finger at three senior naval officials who, they alleged, were "bulying" Raj.

A relative told mediapersons that Raj had been posted in Mumbai around two-and-half years ago and he was to leave for home Saturday, but at the last minute his leave was cancelled.

He added that Raj had allegedly complained about harassment by some seniors in the past few months and had even named three officers in a recent communication to the top naval brass.

Indian Navy officials suspect that Raj may have picked up a gun from the armoury aboard the ship and shot himself but said all these aspects would come out in the Board of Inquiry.

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