A soldier, whose video complaining of poor food and arrangements at a camp went viral last month, has been detained by the Border Security Force, his wife alleged on Thursday.
BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s wife Sharmila told HT that she received a call from him on January 31, informing her that his voluntary retirement had been cancelled and he was kept under arrest by the force.
In an audio conversation purportedly between Yadav and his wife, he is heard telling her that his life was in danger and his seniors were torturing him.
“I know too many wrongdoings of these officials. That’s why they are doing these things with me. Please do something and take my message to public. Jai Hind,” Yadav is heard telling his wife in the alleged conversation, which was recorded by Sharmila.
“He is being mentally tortured while all we can do is helplessly wait,” she said, adding that her husband told her he would go on hunger strike from Thursday if he was not released.
A BSF spokesperson in Delhi denied Bahadur was detained, but said his request for voluntary retirement could not be accepted because a court of inquiry was underway against him. Bahadur has been allowed to speak to his wife, said the spokesperson.
In January, Yadav -- deployed along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir – had posted four videos online, showing allegedly unpalatable food at the camp and alleging that ration meant for the troops was illegally sold by officers.
The videos sparked widespread outrage and top ministers took note of the videos but the BSF rubbished his claims, calling him a repeat offender “who had issues with intoxication and discipline.” A probe was also ordered.
Sharmila – who lives with their son in Haryana’s Rewari district -- said they were waiting for Yadav’s return and had printed cards for his welcome ceremony.
“We only want him back. Just give him retirement and send him here,” she said.
Sharmila also quoted Yadav as saying that the commander of his battalion had not been transferred, “as opposed to the news in media”, and he was constantly torturing the BSF trooper for “bringing out the truth.”