Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday the Centre has sent teams of expert dieticians to border posts to ascertain the quality of food being served to security personnel, days after a BSF jawan posted videos alleging troops were being given inedible food.
In four videos posted on Facebook, constable Tej Bahadur Yadav of the Border Security Forces’ 29th battalion complained about the poor quality of food served. The videos that were shot in Jammu and Kashmir went viral, eliciting calls for better treatment of soldiers.
“Ascertaining the quality of food served to jawans is the top priority of the government of India,” Rijiju said on the sidelines of an Assam government event for popularising digital transactions.
He added that the Centre has already instituted a brigadier-level probe into the allegations though the videos are yet to be verified. “I appeal to the media not to make an issue out of a video which is yet to be verified. We have taken the matter very seriously,” Rijiju said.
The BSF on Wednesday submitted a second report to the home ministry on the allegations of the jawan, stating that the ‘dal’ shown in his video was uncanned from tinned food ration and the ‘parantha’ was cooked in the unit mess as per procedures followed at high-altitude locations.
According to officials, the report has said there are certain deficiencies that need to be corrected vis-a-vis cooking and supply of food in a hygienic and stipulated quantity as per established rules.
It also said that the ‘dal’ (lentils) shown in Yadav’s video was uncanned straight from the tinned food ration supply sent to the border post in Rajouri and hence was bland and devoid of spices.
A final report in this regard is expected to be submitted by the BSF on Thursday after the team of senior officers sent to the spot also find out the actual “cooking norms, style and distribution” of food to the troops in these areas.
On the ongoing economic blockade in Manipur, the Union minister urged Okram Ibobi Singh’s Congress government in Manipur to take action.
“The Centre is ready to help but maintenance of law and order is a constitutional obligation of state government. It is a humanitarian crisis and no one should take political advantage,” he said.
Rijiju also appealed to the United Naga Council, which enforced the blockade on two national highways since November 1, to resolve issues and problems through talks that are “important” in view of the upcoming assembly elections.
The two-phase polls in Manipur are scheduled on March 4 and 8. The blockade has cast a cloud on the electoral process in the Naga-inhabited hill districts of the frontier state.
(With agency inputs)