The government had barred security personnel from posting details of service and operational matters on social media, barely a few weeks before a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan's Facebook videos of 'poor food' served in a Jammu and Kashmir camp went viral.
Sources said the jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav could face disciplinary action in light of the circular sent out by the home ministry to the directors general of all central armed police forces (CAPFs) including the BSF, CRPF and Assam Rifles on November 28.
The CAPFs are deployed in sensitive areas, including international borders, insurgency, militancy and Maoist-affected zones.
The communiqué said sharing videos and pictures without permission will invite action against personnel under the service rules because it violates the ministry’s national information security policy. HT has a copy of the document.
“The popularity of social media creates opportunities, challenges and risks,” said the confidential note on “guidelines for upload of material on social media”.
The ministry said there had been instances in the past of personnel using their mobiles or cameras to capture operational details or sensitive material and uploading them on social media.
“CAPFs are directed that instructions may be issued to ensure no photos, videos, text, information of operations, service matters are uploaded on social media or passed on to the print or electronic media without the due approval of the concerned DG or this ministry,” the ministry’s letter said.
“In case any violations of these or other standing orders are noticed, strict action should be initiated against the defaulters,” it added.
Sources said the “unambiguous” instructions are likely to form the basis of action against Yadav apart from probing allegations made by him.
Yadav – attached to the BSF’s 29th battalion posted along the Indo-Pakistan border -- posted four videos on social media that sparked widespread outrage.
Imposing faith on Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav's claims, which was to expose corruption in the higher order, his family, on Wednesday, reiterated his charges and said what he showed was the truth.
Tej Bahadur's wife Sharmila rubbished BSF's claims, which termed him mentally unstable, and questioned why was he sent to the border, if he was mentally unfit.
"What my husband did is right and for the welfare of the soldiers. It is not wrong to demand for food. He has only shown the truth, but these people are saying his mental health is not well. If he was mentally unstable, why was he sent to the border?" she said.
Sharmila also urged the government to investigate the matter and ensure justice to her husband and family.
Rohit, son of Tej Bahadur, also supported his father's demand for good food and expressed his inclination towards investigation of the matter.
"We have been unable to contact him since last evening. We last spoke to him yesterday evening. We don't know where has he been kept and in what circumstances. He just demanded for good food, which is not wrong. We want to know what is happening with him and if he is fine. I want this matter to be investigated and wish he gets justice," he said.
In a video that went viral on Monday, BSF jawan Tej Bahadur of the 29 battalion Seema Suraksha Bal was seen exposing the rot in the system by revealing the deeply ingrained corruption in the higher order, saying that the troops there were not even getting basic three square meals.
Speaking from an undisclosed location, Yadav could be seen saying that the soldiers stand for 11 straight hours every day, regardless the weather or temperature, but they are treated in the worst possible way one can imagine.
"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. (humare halat wahi darbartar hain). After this, I will send three 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)," the jawans can be seen saying.
However, refuting the allegations labelled by soldier Tej Bahadur, the BSF on Tuesday accused the latter of indulging in indiscipline act and added that it is a sensitive matter for the forces.