Senior CISF officer says online gambling, frauds pushing personnel to suicide

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CISF Special Director-General Piyush Anand said the reasons behind the suicides in the force were mostly personal. Representational  

CISF Special Director-General Piyush Anand said the reasons behind the suicides in the force were mostly personal. Representational  
| Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

A senior Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer has flagged online gambling and fraud as a new factor that is pushing personnel to end their lives. 

On a question related to mental health of and instances of suicides among the CISF personnel who guard vital installations, including airports and metro railway networks in the country, CISF Special Director-General Piyush Anand said in most cases, the reasons behind the suicides were personal and not professional.  He added that the force was conducting financial literacy classes to train the staff against the possible pitfalls of gambling. 

Mr. Anand was addressing a press conference on the occasion of the CISF’s 55th Raising Day at its regional training centre here. This RTC will host this year’s raising day parade, as part of the new initiative by the central government to organise these events outside the Delhi headquarters.  

“Suicides in the force is an important issue and we are taking it very seriously. We conduct an inquiry in each case and so far in all cases, the reason is understood to be personal. There was no personal reason. In none of the cases any colleague, senior or junior, was found to be harassing the personnel,” said Mr. Anand. 

“One more thing that we have understood is that they [personnel] are indulging in online gambling which has become accessible. To deal with it we are arranging financial literacy classes. So if they are gambling online and consequently someone owes a debt of ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh, one feels stressed and doesn’t see a way out. You fall into a trap set by some online fraudster and they siphon off ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh from your account, again you face financial stress,” he added. 

Confronted with a few specific instances of alleged mental torture by seniors at the Bhilai centre, Mr. Anand said there could be black sheep in the force but there was no tolerance for them.

On a related question of personnel being transferred frequently, he claimed that the transfer policy was transparent and that it was computerised. He added that while each individual wished to serve closer to their native places, it was not possible due to the vast geographical footprint of the force that included areas such as Kashmir and the North East. 

Those in distress may contact Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health suicide prevention helpline 011-40769002.



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