A Border Security Force jawan, deployed along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir, has alleged that troops are facing ‘cruelty’ as they are served bad quality food and even have to go ‘empty stomach’ at times, prompting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to order ‘appropriate action’.
In videos uploaded on social media platforms, the jawan, wearing camouflage uniform and carrying a rifle, claimed that while government procures essentials for them, the higher-ups and officers ‘sell it off’ in an ‘illegal’ manner in the market and they have to suffer.
While the border guarding force said it has initiated an inquiry and sent a Deputy Inspector General rank officer to the place of his deployment, the home minister took to Twitter to say he has sought a report.
‘I have seen a video regarding a BSF jawan’s plight. I have asked the HS (home secretary) to immediately seek a report from the BSF & take appropriate action,’ Singh tweeted.
In at least three different videos clocking over four minutes released online, constable T B Yadav, 40, of BSF's 29th battalion also goes on to show the food that is allegedly being served to him.
“We only get a paratha and tea as breakfast and this is without any pickle or vegetables... we slog for 11 hours and at times we have to stand throughout the duty hours. For lunch, we get daal (pulses) which only has haldi (turmeric) and salt... with roti. This is the quality of the food we get ... how can a jawan do his duty? I request the Prime Minister to get this probed.
“... No one shows our plight,” Yadav alleged, adding, “It is cruelty and injustice against us.”
He said he ‘may not be here’ hinting action might be taken against him for shooting and uploading the video a s he urged people to take the issue forward so that corrective action is taken.
He further alleged that at times jawans have to go to sleep ‘empty stomach’.
The BSF took cognisance of the video and tweeted from its official handle that an inquiry has been ordered.
‘(The) BSF is highly sensitive to the welfare of tps (troops). Individual aberrations, if any, are enquired into. A senior officer has already rchd (reached) the location,’ the force tweeted after tagging the video.
A senior BSF official said Yadav is currently deployed along the Line of Control in J&K and the BSF jawans here work under the operational command of the army which also provides for ‘food and other logistics of the jawans’.
However, administrative tasks like cooking are done by the BSF.
It has also been found, the official said, that Yadav has been given four major punishments in the past and has been issued reprimands for alleged violation of discipline.
“However, the force has already ordered for a full investigation into the allegations made by Yadav who joined the force in 1996,” the official said, adding the jawan has also applied for voluntary retirement.
Meanwhile, the BSF in a statement said that the jawan was a ‘bad hat’ and the food provided to the personnel was of good quality.
It said that the constable had a difficult past and needed regular counselling and different correction mechanics for his welfare.
The BSF claimed that he was habitual offender of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism, misbehaving and using force with superior officers.
‘BSF constable who has uploaded his selfie declarations on his Facebook page is posted in a battalion deployed on LoC. In comparison to International Border deployment, serving conditions are harsh as weather and counterpart both poses difficult challenges,’ the statement said.
However, ration is authorised to all including officers at LoC and available in good quality, quantity and in variety.
‘Constable Tej Bahadur as an individual has a difficult past. From initial days of his career, he needed regular counselling. Different correction mechanics have been applied for the individuals welfare as he was habitual offender of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism, misbehaving and using force with superior officers and certain other acts against good order and discipline.
‘For such reasons, individual has served mostly in headquarters under supervision of some dedicated superior officer,’ it said, adding that in spite of him being a bad hat, proper time has been devoted for individuals improvement as a welfare to the individual.
‘He has been sent only 10 days ago to the (current) place of deployment on road head to facilitate support to high altitude forward locations which he has shown in current selfie, on experimental basis to observe the improvements of past counselling.
‘DIG and Commanding officer visited him and other BSF jawans present in strength of about 20 in last one week and there was no complaint from any one,’ the statement said.
It further said ...to enquire into the circumstances which the individual allege in posted videos, a DIG rank officer has reached the location. Investigation will reveal the facts soon.
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IMAGE: Screengrab from the video posted by the jawan on YouTube.