Army continues to record maximum suicides; 77 in 2015
New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today gave the list of incidents of suicide and fratricide in the defence forces in the last three years. The list covers incidents in the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
Army continues to have maximum cases of suicides with 77 being reported in 2015. The numbers stood at 84 in 2014 and 86 in 2013.
The number of fratricide cases in Army has been seven in the last three years. The Navy had the lowest number of cases in 2015 (three), while 2014 saw four suicides and 2016 six. No fratricide cases were reported from Navy personnel in the last three years.
The IAF saw 15 of its air warriors ending their lives in 2015, while the number stood at 14 in 2014 and 15 in 2013. Only one case of fratricide was reported in the IAF during the last three years.
Parrikar says the government has taken various measures to reduce stress and prevent such incidents. He informed the Lower House that improvement in living and working conditions through provision of better infrastructure and facilities; additional family accommodation, liberalized leave policy, establishing a grievance redressal mechanism, provision of counselling by psychological counsellors, conduct of yoga, meditation as part of unit routine are some of the steps taken to prevent such incidents.
Performance boosting drugs
The minister said that certain performance enhancing drugs are used during sustained operations and long duration flying and exercises by the pilots.
He said this measure is being undertaken after non-pharmacological means have either been exhausted or found unavailable.
Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), have conducted ground trials, simulator trials and during actual fight conditions of these drugs.
Mysuru-based Defence Food Research Laboratory, a DRDO unit, has been undertaking extensive research in this field. Parrikar says these studies have proven that these drugs improve the performance of the pilots in the cockpit during sustained operations and have no side effects.