Nearly 600 Indian military suicides in 5 years

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Some 597 Indian servicemen committed suicide between 2009 and 2013 while 1,349 officers quit the army during the same period, the Times of India reported on Tuesday.

The figures were released by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in the upper house of parliament or Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, the newspaper said.

From 2009 to 2013, 597 armed forces personnel committed suicide—498 from the army, 83 from the air force and 16 from the navy, Jaitley told the upper house members.

The highest number of suicides took place in the army in 2010 when 116 troops committed suicide but the number came down to 86 in 2013, according to the figures given by the minister in a written reply.

The army, which is the largest of the three services, also saw 1,349 officers quitting the force taking premature retirement in the last five years.

The number of officers who had applied for premature retirement was 2,215 but only 1,349 such requests were granted by the force.

Jaitley said the government has taken several measures to create the appropriate environment for the defence personnel so that they can perform their duties without any mental stress.

“Some of these include improvement in living and working conditions through provision of better infrastructure and facilities, liberalised leave policy, establishing a grievance redressal mechanism and conduct of yoga as per unit routine,” the defence minister said.

Meanwhile, answering another query, Jaitley said the air force lost 19 fighter aircraft in the last three years, including 12 MiG-series fighter planes in which five service personnel were killed along with one civilian.

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