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368 defence personnel committed suicide in 2 years

March 04, 2013 18:08 IST

A total of 368 defence personnel have committed suicide from 2010 to 2012, with Army recording highest number of 310 such incidents, defence ministry told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony presented the figures relating to suicides in the three Services.

In 2010, a total of 130 such incidents came to light in which 115 involved army personnel. Navy saw one of its personnel committing suicide.

129 suicides were recorded in the armed forces in 2011 in which 102 cases happened in Army alone. Last year, 109 incidents came to light, out of which 93 were from Army.

In a related query, Antony told the House that 792 Army officers have taken premature retirements during last three years.

On steps taken by the government to create an environment free of any mental stress for defence personnel, he said that Yoga and meditation have been included in unit routine, psychological counselling is provided and "liberalised leave" system is maintained.

The government is also ensuring improvement in living and working conditions for defence personnel through provision of better infrastructure and facilities and establishing a grievance redressal mechanism.

Replying to a question over shortage of men in the three services, he said Army faces a shortage of 10,100 officers while Navy and Air Forces are short of 2,054 and 667 officers, respectively.

The shortage of personnel below Officer rank in the Army, Navy and Air Force is 26,433, 14,512 and 7000 respectively.

In reply to a question on doctors in Armed Forces Medical Services, he said there are 6,124 medical and 651 dental officers in it.

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