New Delhi: Border Security Force (BSF) authorities have penalised a jawan with a seven-day pay cut for not attaching the prefix – ‘honourable’ or ‘shri‘ – in his reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a Times of India report, the BSF called the omission a mark of “disrespect” to the prime minister.
According to media reports, the incident happened on February 21 in Bengal’s Nadia district during the zero parade, which is a routine exercise for jawans to mark their attendance.
Constable Sanjeev Kumar, attached to the BSF’s 15th Battalion headquarters in Mahatpur, made the ‘mistake’ of mentioning the zero parade as “Modi programme.” Offended by the casual reference to the prime minister, Commandant Anup Lal Bhagat, commander of the battalion, initiated disciplinary action against the constable. Kumar was found “guilty” under section 40 of the BSF Act, 1968 (act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force).
The order said, “On 21.2.2018, during zero parade, while giving report, you used words ‘Modi Programme’ which shows disrespect towards Hon’ble Prime Minister.” Kumar has been asked to pay seven days salary as fine, reported the Hindu.
Some senior BSF officers called the action a “bit harsh” and “uncalled for”, reported TOI.
The BSF later said on Twitter that the order had been withdrawn and the concerned commandant had been “cautioned for not dealing with the matter judiciously”. According to the BSF, the pay restoration occurred after Modi intervened and “expressed his displeasure”.
Honourable PM had expressed his displeasure and directed @BSF_India to immediately withdraw the punishment.
— BSF (@BSF_India) March 7, 2018
This is not the first time that BSF authorities have landed themselves in a controversy. Last January, the force sacked constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, deployed at the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir, after he put up several video posts, complaining about the “substandard food” they were being made to eat. Yadav was dismissed at a summary court martial held in J&K’s Samba district, at the end of three months of court proceedings.