A Quint journalist has been booked under Section of Official Secrets Act after Lance Naik Roy Mathew allegedly committed suicide days after unwittingly becoming part of the journalist’s sting video on the Army’s infamous Sahayak system.
The Indian Express reported that Nahsik police have booked journalist Poonam Agarwal under sections of the Official Secrets Act and those relating to criminal trespass, and abetment to suicide.
Mathew was found hanging on February 25 after the sting video of him criticising the ‘sahayak system’, where he alleged was forced to menialjobs for the officers in the Army, was published on The Quint. His family had said that in his last telephone conversations with his wife, he had expressed his fear of facing action after the website aired the sting featuring him. After the jawan’s death, the The Quint had removed the sting from their website.
Quoting officials, The Indian Express reported that a case was registered after the Army filed a complaint to Nashik police against the journalist for illegally entering a prohibited area. The Army also accused the journalist of posing ‘leading questions’ to Mathew while carrying out the sting operation.
The report also said that the Police had recorded journalist Aggarwal’s statement recently.
“The committee in its report noted the interaction with jawans has brought to light, the practice of some of the soldiers being deployed to work as Sahayaks with the families of the officers. The committee in its reported mentioned that several instances had come to their notice where soldiers have been seen to be deployed at the residence of officers.”