NEW DELHI: The Border Security Force (BSF) dismissed from service on Wednesday Constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, who triggered a huge outcry with his video posts in January this year alleging that poor quality food was being served to the jawans posted on the border and that rations meant for them were being “sold” for a profit by seniors.
The dismissal, done on four grounds of “indiscipline”, means that Yadav will not be eligible for any pension from the government.
While talking to reporters in Jammu after his dismissal, Yadav reiterated that he is not scared and he is on the same path as revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. “I was dismissed from BSF today, but I still have proof with me about the video I had posted on the poor quality of food. I am yet to get justice and I will take this matter to court, as I have faith in the system.”
“I’m not saying that all Army officers are corrupt, some are really concerned, but at least 50% of officers are responsible for the poor food being served,” Yadav added, while also claiming that after his videos went viral the food quality at the general mess had improved to some extent.
Government sources said that the inquiry against Yadav was conducted in a fair manner. “Even after he was transferred from his post in Jammu after the videos that created an uproar, Yadav was posting videos and audio clips on different platforms tarnishing the image of BSF with unsubstantiated allegations. The action against him will also be a message for others who do not follow guidelines in a disciplined force,” said an MHA official.
BSF, which has maintained that Yadav’s allegations were “baseless”, was conducting a court of inquiry against the jawan for the past three months, during which statements of his colleagues and seniors were recorded and details of the supply of food to jawans at border outposts were examined. None of the jawans examined by the officials agreed with Yadav’s claims.
The summary security force court (SSFC) proceedings were conducted against Yadav under charges which included “an act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force in which he made false allegations on social media regarding the quality of food and did not adhere to the formal grievance redressal mechanism of the force”.
“Neglect to obey general orders of the force in which he carried two mobile phones while on operational duty against the standard operating procedures and also posted photographs in uniform on social media in contravention of instructions,” said a BSF statement.
A BSF spokesperson said that Yadav, who was serving in the 29th battalion, was found “guilty” of all the charges and awarded dismissal from service.
A BSF officer said that “all opportunities were extended to Yadav to present his defence but he could put forth none”. “Yadav has also been found guilty of uploading the said video and going on a hunger strike in violation of laid-down procedures and rules,” he said.
However, the dismissed BSF jawan expressed resentment at not being produced before the SSFC and added that he was not allowed to present his viewpoint before the court. “My mobiles were seized, but I have no regrets,” he said, adding, “I will keep fighting.”
The force said that Yadav now has three months to appeal against the punishment to the IG (frontier) or the director general.
The incident had forced the government to take the allegations seriously and take steps to improve conditions for service personnel and their food.