Throwback 2014: April

Throwback 2014: April
Private (Pte) Ganesh Pillay Magindren, a full-time national serviceman who was found dead at the bottom of his family's Sengkang condominium in July 2013. Pte Ganesh had suffered from schizophrenia. A Coroner's Inquiry was held to investigate his death.

APRIL 8

Coroner's inquiry into private's death

Time has done little to heal the grief of the family of a 23-year-old full-time national serviceman who killed himself last July.

Mr Renganathan Magindren said of his eldest child, Private (Pte) Ganesh Pillay Magindren, last week: "To us, time has aggravated the situation. The more time passes, the more we miss him. It gets more painful over time."

On April 8 this year, a coroner's inquiry into his death found that his schizophrenic condition had been poorly handled while he was in NS.

Pte Ganesh was found dead at the foot of his Sengkang condominium block and State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid found that he had killed himself by jumping from height.

His direct superior, Captain (Capt) Jessie Goh, had given him 14 charges of extra duties the day before he died.

Mr Imran said that Capt Goh, who was Pte Ganesh's direct superior when he was posted to the 24th Battalion Singapore Artillery at Khatib Camp in November 2012, was "out of her depth" in dealing with his condition.

He also noted that Dr Mogilan Mohan, the medical officer at Khatib Camp Medical Centre, had not been informed of Pte Ganesh's condition by his former unit at Kranji Camp.

Mr Magindren, 55, said he was miserable and missed his son.

The art director, who also has a daughter, 22, and a son, 15, added: "My wife was recently hospitalised at the Institute of Mental Health as she finds it very difficult to cope with Ganesh's death. "My youngest son was diagnosed with major depressive disorder around May and he badly misses his brother. The pain we are suffering is tremendous."

'MATTER MUST BE ADDRESSED'

When asked if he has forgiven the individuals involved in the case, he replied: "It's not a matter of forgiveness. The matter must be addressed to prevent a similar tragedy from repeating."

In June, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the Singapore Armed Forces took the issue of the mental health of its servicemen "very seriously".

"Mental conditions (occur)... not only within the Army (but) in any part of their lives, whether they are in the military or not. We recognise that the condition is not static and... (we) are trying to beef up... the monitoring mechanisms," he said.

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