Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday ordered "appropriate action" after a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan, deployed along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir, alleged that troops are facing "cruelty" as they are served bad quality food and even have to go "empty stomach" at times.
In videos uploaded on social media platforms, the jawan, wearing camouflage uniform and carrying a rifle, claimed that while government procures essentials for them, the higher-ups and officers "sell it off" in an "illegal" manner in the market and they have to suffer.
While the border guarding force said it has initiated an inquiry and sent a Deputy Inspector General rank officer to the place of his deployment, the Home Minister took to Twitter to say he has sought a report.
"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," Singh tweeted.
In at least three different videos clocking over 4-minutes released online, constable Tej Bahadur Yadav (40) of BSF's 29th battalion also goes on to show the food that is allegedly being served to him.
"We only get a 'parantha' and tea as breakfast and this is without any pickle or vegetables... We slog for 11 hours and at times we have to stand throughout the duty hours. For lunch, we get 'dal' (pulses) which only has 'haldi' (turmeric) and salt... With roti. This is the quality of the food we get ... How can a jawan do his duty? "I request the Prime Minister to get this probed.
"... No one shows our plight," Yadav alleged, adding, "It is atyachaar (cruelty) and anyay (injustice) against us."
He said he "may not be here" hinting action might be taken against him for shooting and uploading the video a s he urged people to take the issue forward so that corrective action is taken.
He further alleged that at times jawans have to go to sleep "empty stomach".
The BSF took cognisance of the video and tweeted from its official handle that an inquiry has been ordered.
"BSF is highly sensitive to the welfare of tps(troops). Individual aberrations, if any, are enquired into. A senior officer has already rchd (reached) the location," the force tweeted after tagging the video.
However, a senior BSF official said BSF jawans deployed along the LoC in J&K work under the operational command of the army which also provides for "food and other logistics of the jawans".
It has also been found, the official said, that Yadav has been given four major punishments in the past and has been issued reprimands for alleged violation of discipline.
"However, the force has already ordered for a full investigation into the allegations made by Yadav who joined the force in 1996," the official said, adding the jawan has also applied for voluntary retirement.
(With PTI inputs)