The video posts of Border Security Force constable Tej Bahadur Yadav about poor food pose not just questions of corruption by officials but also discipline for the BSF authorities to address, former director general of the force Prakash Singh told HT on Tuesday.
“There are 200,000 personnel in the BSF, even if 200 of them start shooting and circulating videos, it will cause a disciplinary crisis,” said Singh who also heads the New Delhi-based Indian Police Foundation and Institute.
Senior officials need to ensure that personnel are not allowed to violate service rules that prohibit sharing of information, pictures and operational details through any medium including phone videos, the former BSF chief who has been advocating police reforms and better preparedness of the forces for the last two decades said. “Discipline is integral to good performance.”
He said the BSF inquiry, ordered by home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday evening should look at whether the jawan’s allegations of rations being siphoned off are a result of corruption or “mismanagement by the local officials.” The inquiry will also take into account whether the allegations circulated in the public domain were first conveyed to the seniors of the jawan and if action was taken on them.”
Singh said the jawans’ “working hours are certainly tough and they vary from sector to sector.”
“But, the BSF really looks after its jawans. If there is a deterioration of standards somewhere, I am sure it must be an aberration. The inquiry should fix responsibility and also look at issues of discipline,” Singh added. The BSF has a provisioning directorate based at its headquarters in New Delhi. “There is a senior officer in charge of provisioning who sends out rations to local posts. The inquiry should identify where the problem originated.”
Singh had also conducted the inquiry into last year’s violent Jat reservation agitation in Haryana and indicted senior police officials for poor command and leadership.
On Tuesday, the BSF issued a statement saying Tej Bahadur Yadav had a “difficult past” and needed regular counselling.
According to the statement, he had been sent to his current post along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir only 10 days back and that neither he nor 20 of his colleagues at the post had complained when senior officers visited last week.