New Delhi, Jan 12:
After the BSF and CRPF troopers, now the video of the Indian Army’s Lance Naik Yagya Pratap has surfaced, in which he has raised his voice against the service conditions, alleging the soldiers are being exploited by their officers.
This prompted the army to immediately issue a statement on Thursday that “individual grievances” cannot be ruled out in a large army and that the concerns raised by the soldiers are being addressed.
Lance Naik Pratap alleged that soldiers are being exploited by the army officers. He said he wrote letters to the President, the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister and the Supreme Court, after which his officers accused him of sedition and also threatened his court martial.
“I have been in the army for 15 years. I have been concerned about the exploitation of jawans in the army, I was gathering courage to raise my voice. All powers are with the officers… if we complain, they get angry and take action against us,” Pratap says in the video.
“But ultimately I decided to raise my voice and wrote an application, dated June 15, 2016, to the President, Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister and the Supreme Court.”
“…When the PMO sought an answer, Brigade Commander tortured me. Any other soldier would have either committed suicide or would have done something wrong with the officers. But I did not do that. I am a soldier, and I felt it would not be right as it would taint my uniform,” the soldier says.
“The officers tell us you will be court-martialled. I did not divulge any service details in the letter, then how is this sedition? This is my last letter. Jawans are taking dogs for walk, looking after children,” he goes on.
The Indian Army soon after issued a statement saying the grievances of the soldier are being addressed through established mechanisms.
“Ours is a very large army wherein ‘individual grievances’ cannot be ruled out,” an official statement from the army said.
“The army has an effective grievance redressal mechanism for addressing individual complaints, most satisfactorily. In the instant case of Lance Naik Yagya Pratap, cognizance of his communication has been taken and complaints made by him are being addressed through the existing mechanisms,” the statement said.
Earlier, BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav’s video became viral on social media, which had alleged that troopers are served bad quality food and at times they are forced to go the bed hungry. He also accused unnamed officers of illegally selling off the food supplies meant for the troopers.
This led to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saying that he is personally monitoring and evaluating the conditions as far as food is concerned.
“In last two years, for the army, we have been continuously evaluating that whether satisfaction level for the food being served has increased or not. I am myself monitoring it,” he said talking to the media on the sidelines of ongoing Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.
In another video that went viral, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable Jeet Singh asked why the para-military force personnel are not provided facilities at par with their army counterparts when they are also performing similar tasks.
Jeet said: “We (CRPF personnel) do all kinds of duties inside the country like deployment for the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Gram Panchayat elections. We contribute services in most places in the country. Despite doing all these duties, there is a big difference between the facilities provided to the Indian Army and the CRPF.”