Calcutta, Dec. 15: A senior BSF officer has admitted in an internal bulletin that personnel manning India’s borders are often ill-treated by their seniors and denied leave that they deserve.
“Superior officers of the force treat the subordinates very badly…. At functions like foundation day celebrations and barakhana, the superiors and their family members get very good treatment while the families of lower-rank personnel are not even asked to take seats,” deputy inspector-general (administration) P.K. Mishra wrote.
The barakhana or “grand feast” is organised on occasions such as the Independence Day or Republic Day.
In the article titled “Jawano ke prati upeksha kyun (why this ill-treatment of jawans), published in a quarterly bulletin, Mishra also wrote: “Most of the superior officers are insensitive to the needs of their subordinates, like sanctioning of emergency leave to attend to an ailing family member.”
The Telegraph had reported in August that around 30 jawans posted in south Bengal were believed to have committed suicide in the past year, though the officials put the figure at half the number.
“Our jawans manning the border day and night are being denied proper lodging, transport and other infrastructural facilities, while superior officers and politicians enjoy all advantages,” Mishra wrote.
The article — published from the BSF’s Delhi headquarters — has created ripples in all its divisions.
A jawan at the Bangladesh border in North 24-Parganas’ Basirhat, about 80 km from Calcutta, said “some senior officers” visited his post around the time the article was published. “We told them about our ordeal but nothing has been done as yet,” he said.
Sources said tents meant for five jawans often house eight. “TV sets for jawans make their way into officers’ quarters and jawans’ vehicles ferry officers’ families.”