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Army deserter goes up Delhi cellphone tower, demands Defence Minister's presence

India TV News Desk 18 Aug 2012, 17:24:26 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi, Aug 18 : Muthu, a jawan working in the Army Engineering Corps, has been staging a protest 200 feet above the ground atop a cellphone tower near New Delhi railway station since Friday afternoon.

Muthu climbed the cellphone tower at around 12:30 pm on Friday and since then the high-voltage drama has been going on continuously.
Army PRO Col Jagdeep Dahiya told India TV that the jawan was an Army deserter, who is on leave without permission since July 7.
Delhi Police and Fire Brigade officials used cranes to go up to Muthu and persuade him to come down, but the latter has been demanding that the Defence Minister A K Antony should come to the spot.
Muthu told newspersons from atop the tower that he had sought two weeks leave to go home because of his father's death, but was  given only one day leave.  When he returned after five days, his officer beat him up and his salary was deducted.
"We are working under tremendous pressure in the army. We don't get enough leave. I would like the Defence Minister to come and hear me out", said Muthu.
Army CPRO Col Dahiya described as baseless Muthu's charge that the senior officer beat him up, saying that the army deserter was coming up with cooked-up stories.
"He (Muthu) went on leave without permission twice or thrice earlier too", Col Dahiya said. "He has to follow the Army's rules and regulations. At this moment, we can only appeal to him to come down."
"There is a grievance redressal mechanism in the Army for such matters", said Col Dahiya.
On his part, Muthu told newspersons: "The Army officers say they give 3 months leave to the jawans. Where's that leave? Only a few days ago, a jawan in Jammu committed suicide because he was not granted leave. I want the Defence Minister to hear me out."