In a bizarre incident, a 23-year-old Indian navy sailor shot himself inside the armoury section of a naval ship at Navy Nagar in Colaba on Saturday.
While the police have registered a case of accidental death in this regard and are investigating further, the family of the deceased allege that he was being harassed and tortured by senior navy officers.
According to the Colaba police, Melvin Raj Nadar, a native of Tamil Nadu, was working at INS Talwar in Mumbai for the last two years. At around 8pm on Saturday, after locking himself in the armoury section of the ship, he shot himself below the chin with a rifle.
When others on the ship learnt about the incident, they rushed Nadar to a hospital at INS Ashwini, where he was declared dead on arrival. Nadar’s body was then sent to JJ Hospital for post-mortem.
Naval authorities informed Nadar’s family at around 10pm, after which they came to Mumbai on Sunday to claim the body.
“Melvin had called us on Friday and told us his seniors were torturing and harassing him. He also named a few of them,” a family friend said, adding that Nadar wanted to come home, but was not given leave.
Nadar's family refused to believe that Melvin could end his life this way without any reason and has demanded a thorough investigation.
“The navy has initiated an internal inquiry into the matter and if anyone is found guilty, action will be taken accordingly,” a navy spokesperson said.
An officer from Colaba police station said that they have not found any suicide note and are looking into the case from all possible angles.
According to Dr TP Lahane, dean of state-run JJ Hospitals, the post-mortem report has confirmed that the officer suffered from “suicidal firearm injuries.”