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Civilians near BSF camp in J&K allege officers sell food, fuel at cheap rates: Report

Civilians living near BSF camps in Jammu and Kashmir have made some shocking revelations, certifying jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s claims including diversion of the provisions sent by the government for troops guarding the border areas.
India TV News Desk Srinagar January 11, 2017 12:35 IST
India TV News Desk

Civilians living near BSF camps in Jammu and Kashmir have made some shocking revelations, certifying jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s claims including diversion of the provisions sent by the government for troops guarding the border areas. 

According to a Times of India report, locals alleged that officers indulge in unlawful activities of selling logistics including fuel and food meant for the personnel to outsiders at half the market rate. 

Shopkeepers near the Humhama BSF headquarters, located close to the Srinagar Airport, are beneficiaries of petrol and diesel, a jawan and some civilians said, adding that food items like dal and vegetables are sold at cheaper rates.

“They sell food items like dal and vegetables to civilians outside the camp at cheaper rates and leave us bereft of the facilities. They even deny us our daily-use items and sell the same to their agents outside the camps,” a BSF jawan told TOI on terms of anonymity.

A civil contractor said that they get petrol from BSF officers at Humhama camp at half the market rate. Besides, they are also beneficiaries of other items like rice and spices.

A furniture dealer alleged that “purchasing officers, while placing orders for elegant furniture for their offices, take a commission that is more than what we earn”. 

“There is no e-tendering in the BSF. The officer will purchase furniture and take a commission and even compromise on the quality of the items,” he added. 

The report cited CRPF IG Ravideep Singh Sahi, who was posted to Srinagar as IG administration a month ago, saying that he would look into shoplifting from stores for profit, if any took place at all. 

On the other hand, a CRPF jawan on law and order duty in Srinagar, however, rejected the notion that the notion that the officers treated them badly. 

“We get quality food on time, and after duty hours we are provided proper accommodation at the concerned police stations,” he said. 

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.