New Delhi: A total of 597 armed forces personnel committed suicide since 2009, the defence ministry said Tuesday.
Suicide rates were highest in the army with 498 suicides since 2009, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. There were 83 suicides in the Air Force while 16 Navy personnel took their lives.
In the same period, 2,215 personnel applied for voluntary retirement and 1,349 of them were granted the same. The data does not include the Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Military Nursing Service.
“Government has taken various measures to create appropriate environment for defence personnel, so they can perform their duty without any mental stress,” Jaitley informed the Rajya Sabha. ”Some of these measures include improvement in living and working conditions through provision of better infrastructure and facilities, additional family accommodation, liberalised leave policy, establishing a grievance redressal mechanism, provision of psychological counselling by counsellors and conduct of yoga and meditation as part of unit routine,” he said