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Jawan Tej Bahadur arrested and tortured

Weeks after BSF jawan Tej Bahadur posted a video alleging that troops were being served bad quality food, his wife Sharmila Yadav in a shocking revelation said that her husband was forced to retire and added that he was later put under arrest. She also claimed that somehow her husband managed to call up using someone else’s phone and said that he was under arrest and being threatened and mentally tortured.

The videos uncover the miserable state of affairs in the armed force and the hardships our soldiers face every day due to the “corrupt practices” of their own officers. Army or paramilitary jawans usually don’t speak against seniors fearing strict punishment. However, jawan Tej Bahadur of 29 battalion showed courage, may be because of his anxiety, to talk about that humiliation without thinking about the penalties. Nowadays, jawans are being used as political tools especially by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his supporters for everything. Everything which goes wrong by government decision was compared with jawans suffering on the borders and if somebody raises their voice, they silence them with jawans’ example. However, this video tells many untold stories; it exposes the condition of jawans. The video of Bahadur presents a different picture. Half-baked chapatis and uneatable daal are what the jawans get in their lunch. One chapati with tea in the breakfast, in an extreme climate, they have to sustain on this low quality and insufficient food.

The jawan also said he may face dire consequences by his seniors for exposing the truth but he was not worried for his life. In fact, the videos, that have gone viral, may discourage young aspirants from joining the armed force. Nobody can say anything. If they complain, action will be taken against them. Many retired BSF jawans have left the force due to unfair treatment meted against them. There is ample truth in the video. Nobody can deny this fact as mentioned in the video. Justice should be done to the jawans. Yadav in the video has taken extraordinary courage to reveal the truth to the world. Such incidents are definitely happening in BSF and other forces. It is nothing new, of course technological advancement now enable people to share these heinous crime in open. Corruption and demoralization goes hand in hand. Particularly, the top brasses used to eat away all privileges meant for jawans, even rations. Earlier, officers were not entitled for free ration, they incorporated the same in their favour. Corruption is rampant in defence forces. Particularly, these officers pose themselves like Britishers used to behave with Indian soldiers and citizens. The video suggests that our jawans are not just exposed to the security threat from across the border, but are also subjected to humiliation and insult when it comes to their daily meals which are both substandard and insufficient. In fact, they even sleep empty stomach at times, the video reveals. Neither the media, nor any minister tries to take a note on how are we going through this (harsh weather). Our conditions are still worst. (Hamare halat wahi darbartar hain).

He said in a video that, after this video, I will send three more videos that will show how our officials are mistreating us. We do not want to blame any government, because they give everything we need, but our senior officials sell everything (for their own profit). Yadav further asserted for a probe into the situation. He also requested Prime Minister to look into the matter. He was very well prepared for the consequences that he was going to face, but still he was expressing his concern for jawans.

To cover up entire saga, a senior BSF official passed a statement to media stating that, Yadav was awarded four major punishments in the past and issued admonishments for alleged violation of discipline. Though, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered an enquiry after being told that the troops are served bad quality food and sometimes they even go hungry. In three different videos, clocking over 4-minutes and released online, shows the food that is being allegedly served to him. It is very shameful for the country to treat its soldiers with sheer neglect. The Border Security Force (BSF) rejected claims made by a soldier.

The armed forces should integrate and voice their concerns. Yadav has begun the fight and I hope many more will join him in future. An army marches on its stomach, every corrupt officer should be held accountable and asked to repay every rupee stolen by them. The generals should ensure measures and checks are put in place, including random visits to check what supplies were bought and what value, against what is being served to the soldiers. There should be no recrimination against Tej Bahadur. If anything, he should be promoted to root out corruption. However, the force has already ordered for a full investigation into the allegations made by Yadav who joined the force in 1996, he has applied for voluntary retirement. He shouldn’t be harmed or framed in any with artificial charges and if any action is taken against him no one will be willing to join the forces.

BSF stands for Border Security Force and it was formed after the India-Pakistan war of 1965. Before 1965 Indian border with Pakistan was guarded by the State Armed Police Battalion. During the war of 1965, Pakistan attacked on Sardar Post, Chhar Bet and Beria Bet on 9 April, 1965 in Kutch. It exposed the inadequacy of the State Armed Police to cope with armed aggression due to which the Government of India felt that Indian Border would be more protected if it is under a control of a centralized force rather than a distributed force. Therefore, BSF was born on 1st December 1965 with motto “Duty unto Death”.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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