Family of soldier who posted Facebook video stands by him, rubbishes BSF claims

Agencies

The BSF may have stressed the troubled past of a soldier who claimed that bad food served is to the personnel, but Tej Bahadur Yadav’s family said on Wednesday the issues raised by him in Facebook videos were true.

Tej Bahadur’s wife, Sharmila, rubbished Border Security Force’s claims, which said a day ago that the soldier had issues with intoxication and discipline.

BSF inspector general DK Upadhyaya’s comments came after Yadav – a part of BSF’s 29th battalion posted along the Indo-Pakistan border — posted four videos of poor food arrangements in a Jammu and Kashmir camp on social media that went viral and sparked widespread outrage.

Family’s response

“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?” Sharmila was quoted by saying.

She also urged the government to investigate the matter and ensure justice to her husband and family, even as the Union home ministry asked the BSF to submit a report by Wednesday.

Yadav’s son, Rohit, too 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 (Tuesday) 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.

BSF’s charges

BSF IG Upadhyaya, in a press conference on Tuesday, said was Yadav court-martialled in 2010 for indiscipline and aimed a gun at a senior officer, even as he assured of a thorough probe into his allegations.

He said the soldier allowed to stay in the force on humanitarian grounds.

“A high-level enquiry is underway as the BSF has taken the allegations levelled by the constable very seriously.

“However, prima facie it was found that no other jawan deployed at the same place had any problem with the quality of food being served to them,” Upadhyaya told reporters.

Officials said the BSF headquarters already submitted a preliminary report in the case to the home ministry and a full report was being prepared by a deputy inspector general (DIG)-rank officer who is based in Jammu and Kashmir.

The allegations

In videos uploaded on social media platforms, the soldier, 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.

He also alleged that troops were facing “cruelty” as they are served “bad quality” food and even have to go “empty stomach” at times.

The soldier hails from Mahendragarh district of Haryana and had joined the force in 1996.

Yadav was deployed along the Line of Control in the Rajouri sector of J-K and has now been shifted to a nearby battalion pending the Court of INQUIRY (CoI).

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