BSF in Damage Control Mode Over Jawan's Video, Orders Probe
The BSF has gone into damage control mode after constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, in a video that went viral, alleged that the quality and quantity of food served to them was poor as senior officers “sell off” essential supplies.
IG, BSF, D K Upadhyay addressing a press conference over the issue of a BSF jawan's video about the poor quality of food served at BSF camp in Jammu on Jan 10, 2017.
New Delhi: The BSF has gone into damage control mode after constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, in a video that went viral, alleged that the quality and quantity of food served to them was poor as senior officers “sell off” essential supplies.
DK Upadhayay, IG Jammu, in a press conference said: "An inquiry is on to verify allegations. We (BSF) take ration from the Army so quality of material is very good.”
The BSF has alluded to Yadav's alleged bad service record to question the motivation behind this video. But, Yadav stands his ground. In a phone interview to CNN News18, Yadav said, "The video is from ground zero. There's no fraud in that. What you see is what happens. Let there be a probe if they want, they will know this is the truth."
CNN News18 spoke to serving and retired BSF personnel to find out the how the mess and ration distribution functions in the force.
A serving officer in the BSF headquarters explained how ration procurement is done. "Mess is managed by the troops themselves. They procure from the local market, they cook and serve. Officers only facilitate the logistics."
Yadav had alleged that there is enough ration being made available by the government, but pilferage by senior officers was forcing jawans to go hungry or eat sub-standard food.
S Rautela, a retired assistant commanadant of BSF who had earlier served in Jammu and Kashmir, denied this possibility. "Procurement happens at six different levels. The cook, mess incharge, members of mess committee, the driver and the commnadant all are involved in procurement at some level. How come no one blew the lid off corruption for so long?"
Former Director Generals of the force told CNN News18 that no such complaint has reached their table in the last few years. "I can’t comment on the merit of allegations being made by Yadav, but usually the first place a senior officer checks on field visit is the langar (mess). There is also an unofficial interaction with jawans which happens. At least in my tenure no such complaint was made," an officer who recently retired from the force said.
According to a 2014 Home Ministry order, ration for a BSF jawan posted at the Line of Control should be at par with that of an Indian Army soldier. The ration allowance for a paramilitary personnel posted alongside the army or in an insurgency-affected area is Rs 2,900/month per soldier. There is an additional special allowance of Rs 191/month per soldier for dry fruits. A special condiment allowance of Rs 103.30 per month is also permitted. Yadav in his video had pointed out that the dal being served for lunch had no spices but only salt and turmeric. Yadav's video said breakfast comprised parantha and tea, while the approved allowance from MHA talks about eggs, almonds, noodles, pickle and juices among other things. Yadav is seen specifically complaining in the video that even pickle is not provided with the paranthas.
Rautella said: "It is true that from the month of December to February, supplies are a problem. Snowfall leads to road block and that obstructs supply. It is possible that the food served on a particular day could be lacking because of this reason."
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