Indian Navy sailor shoots self, family alleges harassment by seniors
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A 23-year-old sailor posted aboard a naval ship shot himself on Saturday night. Sailor Melvin Raj's family alleged that he took the extreme step because he was being harassed by his seniors.
According to Indian Navy sources, Raj, posted aboard the INS Talwar at the Naval dockyard, Lion Gate, was on sentry duty on Saturday. At around 8 pm, Raj completed his sentry duty and headed to the armoury room, where, as per protocol, he was supposed to deposit his rifle. Sailors on sentry duty collect and deposit their rifles at the armoury room at the beginning or end of their shifts, officials said.
"Instead of depositing his rifle, he shot himself with it. He was rushed to INS Ashwini, where he was declared dead before admission," said a Navy official.
"For the last one month, Melvin had been telling his mother that he was being treated badly on the ship. He said that some of his senior officers used to verbally abuse him, and made him work long hours," said Raj's cousin Selvam Ramakrishnan.
Raj was to leave for Tamil Nadu on a short leave on the day that he allegedly shot himself.
"We were told that he would be visiting us. The next that we heard was that he had had an accident, and that we should leave for Mumbai immediately. It was only after we reached JJ hospital that we learnt that he was no more," Ramakrishnan added.
Raj's family said it was his dream to join the Indian Navy and that it must have taken a very strong reason for him to kill himself.
The Colaba police have registered an accidental death report.