A soldier who posted videos of poor food arrangements in a Jammu and Kashmir camp was court-martialled in 2010 because of indiscipline but was allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds, the Border Security Force said on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters in Jammu, BSF inspector general DK Upadhyaya dismissed allegations made by Tej Bahadur Yadav, saying this was the first time any force personnel had resorted to social media for complaint. The force has accused him of indiscipline, insubordination and intoxication.
“Leniency was shown to him because of his family. He applied for voluntary retirement on December 31 and it was accepted,” Upadhyaya said.
The IG’s comments came a day after Yadav – a part of BSF’s 29th battalion posted along the Indo-Pakistan border -- posted four videos on social media that went viral and sparked widespread outrage.
“A high-level enquiry is underway as the BSF has taken the allegations levelled by the constable very seriously.
“However, prima facie it was found that no other jawan deployed at the same place had any problem with the quality of food being served to them,” Upadhyaya said.
The videos -- which went viral --- purportedly showed burnt parathas, watery dal and poor food arrangements for the soldiers with Yadav alleging that senior officers illegally sold ration meant for jawans in the open market.
But Upadhyaya denied the charges, saying food quality was above reproach and none of the soldiers – including Yadav – had complained when senior officers visited the camp on January 6. A probe has been ordered.
“I would have been happy if he had come to the director general or me. We have a well-set grievance redressal system and people have full independence to complain,” Upadhyaya said.
“I think his intentions were different.”
Why Yadav didn’t submit his phone to the authorities before being on duty --- as is mandated – would also be looked into, the I-G added.
The BSF has alleged that Yadav was an alcoholic with a difficult past but the soldier told India Today that his fellow jawans were happy with the videos and that he was being pressed by senior officers to take them down.
But Upadhyaya said he had been moved to another post so that there was no pressure on him.