Even as the family of Tej Bahadur Yadav – a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier who last month alleged that troops at the border were being served poor quality food – accused the authorities of detaining and torturing him and refusing him his voluntary retirement, the organisation has categorically denied that he has been arrested.
The BSF has, however, acknowledged that Yadav’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) request was turned down on January 30 on the grounds that a court of inquiry on his allegations is pending.
At the time of his deployment along the Indo-Pakistan border, Yadav had uploaded a series of four videos depicting the poor quality of food that was being served to the soldiers. As the video went viral, it created quite a stir.
This was followed by another video, this time by a Central Reserve Police Force personnel, who also complained unequal treatment being meted out to personnel of central police organisations.
The videos had led home minister Rajnath Singh to urge the police forces to revisit the issue of the quality of facilities being provided to their personnel. The defence minister Manohar Parrikar too had asked the forces under him to ensure the well-being of the personnel.
Now, however, the controversy has taken another direction with Yadav’s wife alleging ill-treatment. Even though Yadav was accused of being a repeat offender and someone “who had issues with intoxication and discipline,” the issue of the quality of facilities for the troops that was raised by him is pertinent.
The Hindustan Times reported that Yadav’s wife had told its Rohtak correspondent that during a phone conversation, the soldier had claimed that his seniors were torturing him and that his life was in danger.
The soldier’s wife, Sharmila, also said that Yadav told her in the conversation on January 31 that his voluntary retirement had been cancelled and that he was being detained.
She also claimed that Yadav told her that, “I know too many wrongdoings of these officials. That’s why they are doing these things with me. Please do something and take my message to public. Jai Hind.”
Sharmila charged that her husband, who wanted to leave the force, was being “mentally tortured,” and was not being allowed to leave.
Meanwhile, on its official Twitter page, the BSF denied the claim that Yadav had been arrested.
Categorically stated that TBY has not been arrested:he was given non acceptence of vrs on 30th Jan 2017 pending an enquiry as per procedure
— BSF (@BSF_India) February 2, 2017
The BSF spokesperson in Delhi said that a final decision on his future could only be taken once the probe was complete.