Hours after a BSF jawan deployed in Jammu and Kashmir alleged that troops are served poor quality food, the BSF released a statement accusing the soldier of being an "alcoholic and a habitual offender".
Yesterday, in a Facebook post and video, BSF jawan Tej Badur Yadav of the 29 battalion Seema Suraksha Bal - which is posted along the Line of Control - talked at length about what corruption in the force's administration and showed pictures of "poor-quality food".
He alleged that the government wasn't to blame. It was the seniors, who sell supplies meant for the soldiers in the open market. He urged the prime Minister to investigate.
A few hours after he released the video, the border force alleged that Yadav has had a difficult past and that right from the start of service, has needed regular counselling.
"The soldier is a habitual offender of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism and misbehaving with superior officers...For such reasons, individual (Tej Bahadur) has served mostly in headquarters under supervision of some dedicated superior officer", the BSF said in a statement.
Commenting on the same video, defence expert PK Sehgal called for appropriate budgetary allocation for the jawans, while asserting that his focus would be to look at the issue and immediately alleviate the difficulties that jawans are facing.
“There are lot of weaknesses in our defence system. The living conditions are not appropriate; the bunkers are not strong enough. The man is not appropriately equipped to survive and deliver. In the forthcoming Budget Session, appropriate budgetary allocation must be made to plug all the weakness the soonest,” Sehgal told ANI.
After the video went viral, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also ordered an inquiry into the BSF constable's allegations.
"I have seen a video regarding a BSF jawan's plight. I have asked the HS (Home Secretary) to immediately seek a report from the BSF & take appropriate action," the home minister tweeted late last night.
Meanwhile, Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju too has assured that any lapse in the welfare of defence forces will be addressed on priority.
"Welfare of our Security Forces is our absolute priority. Any anomaly to be dealt with firmly," Rijiju said, according to ANI.
In Yadav's video, filmed at an undisclosed location, Yadav said that the soldiers stand for 11 straight hours every day regardless of the extreme weather, but they are treated in the worst possible way imaginable.
"Neither the media, nor any minister tries to understand what we are going through (harsh weather). We live in the worst-possible conditions. After this, I will share three videos that will show how we are being mistreated by our officials.
"We don't want to blame any particular government, because they give us everything we need. But it is our seniors who see supplies meant for us to the local market, so it never reaches us," the soldier said in the video.
Yadav then proceeded to show pictures of the food they are served. "I will show you that we get only one paratha in the breakfast that too without any curry, or pickle. We get it ( paratha ) only with a cup of tea. In the afternoon, I'll show you how we get ' daal ', its only turmeric and salt and nothing else, I will also show you the condition of the chapattis," Yadav said.
Reiterating that he is not blaming the government, Yadav further said that their rations are sold in the market, and called for the situation to be investigated.
"I request honourable Prime Minister also to look into the matter. Friends, I may not live once I upload this video, as my officials are very powerful. Kindly share the video as much as possible so that every media organisation come here and investigate and witness how soldiers are living," he said.
The BSF was quick to respond with a statement saying that a senior officer has already reached the location from where Yadav send the video.
The BSF, however, rejected claims made by a soldier, clarifying that even though conditions for soldiers were tough they were provided with regular rations while asserting that the jawans in particular had a troubled past.