New Delhi: The mystery behind the death of Indian Army officer Captain Sumit Kohli is yet to be solved. While Army claims that Captain Kohli committed suicide, his family has been maintaining that the young officer was murdered.
Captain Kohli’s mother Veena Kohli met Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday in New Delhi and insisted that her son didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. She also demanded her son’s post-mortem report to be re-looked at and asked for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the death of her son.
She told CNN-IBN that the Defence Minister has assured her that a thorough enquiry would be conducted in the death of Captain Kohli.
“I have submitted by application which had our demands to the Defence Minister and he has assured me that he will look into the application thoroughly and will get the enquiries done. My basic demands are to look into the post-mortem reports again which are not clear to me and if I am not satisfied, then I will seek for a CBI enquiry. He has assured me of a thorough check to the entire case and he has assured me that the case will be re-opened if needed,” said Veena Kohli.
“I am satisfied with the talks and he (Antony) has assured me that he would look into the matter thoroughly. There was no clarity on the previous enquiry. The minister has assured me of a check on all the loopholes in the documents. I don’t see any reason for committing suicide. I am sure there are some people in the Army who have pushed him to death. There were no personal reasons for committing suicide. He was my only son,” she added.
Veena Kohli’s lawyer has also asked for a reinvestigation into the case saying there were a lot of contradictions in the Army’s version of Captain Kohli’s death.
“These documents have lot of contradictions and that is the reason doubts have raised. Captain Kohli did not commit suicide. She wanted to clear her doubts and that is the reason she was here for the meet with the Defence Minister, so that the matter can be re-investigated,” said lawyer Guneet Choudhary.
The Army has been saying Captain Kohli shot himself with an AK-47 while his family’s version is that his throat was slit. The Army also said that the Captain killed himself as he was depressed over domestic problems. But the family claimed he could take his own life as he was a brave officer.
“If he shot himself with an AK-47, his face wouldn’t have been intact. He would have had multiple fractures,” said Dipika.
Captain Kohli’s wife Dipika also said that he was a brave man and would not have ended his own life. The family members have also been claiming that that they received an anonymous note after Captain Kohli’s death. The note reportedly said that Kohli feared for his life.
Colonel Rahul Pandey, former commanding officer of 18 Rashtriya Rifles and the unit where Captain Kohli was posted, maintained that the young officer had committed suicide due to some family problems.
“I would not want to talk about someone who was so dear to me. The fact is that Captain Sumit Kohli had family problems. We have many proofs but this incident came to light only after the unfortunate incident. There was marital discord,” said Colonel Rahul Pandey.
“After his demise, his personal belongings showed there were many photographs of his first fiancée but not many visuals of his wife. He never declared to the forces that he was married in spite of the repeated reminders. It is so painful for a mother to accept that a brave soldier had committed suicide because of personal reasons,” the Colonel said.
Colonel Pandey also added that he was willing to help in another investigation to find out the reason behind the death of Captain Kohli.
“I am open to any enquiry, if that can given any satisfaction to the mother. Kohli didn’t declare his marriage officially. There are a number of circumstantial evidences that the reason for his death was marital discord. I used to come to know of his issues through his father. He used to say that it was a mistake to get married,” he added.
Captain Kohli, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, was found dead in his quarters at Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on April 30, 2006. While the Army’s Court of Inquiry ruled that Kohli’s death was a case of suicide, the captain’s family believes he was murdered by senior officers because he was going to blow the lid on fake encounters in Kashmir Valley in which four porters were killed in Lolab in April 2004.
The widow of one of the victims, Ram Lal, had reportedly received a letter naming Colonel Rahul Pandey as the man accused in the so-called fake encounter. The letter was signed “your soldier, a believer in humanity”.