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Want leave? Try to jump off a tank

The water tank off which the jawan threatened to jump off.
Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 19: A CRPF jawan replicated a novel way to ask for leave this morning.

He climbed atop a water tank on the premises of CRPF Group Centre here threatening to commit suicide if his superiors did not grant him leave.

This is the second time in three months that the same tank has been used by a jawan as an instrument to air his grievance.

The jawan, identified as Narendar Singh, 30, climbed the 100-metre tall water tank around 8am and stayed there for nearly two hours. He finally came down when the authorities promised to sort the issue out. The incident appeared to be a replica of what another CRPF constable had done on the same compound in September to force his seniors to grant him leave.

Sources said Singh, a native of Madhya Pradesh, had been working as a constable at the group centre. “He applied for leave of one week yesterday. As the authorities denied him leave, he climbed to the top of the tank in anguish,” said an employee of the group centre, pleading anonymity.

Officials said he was denied leave because he needed to undergo a routine check-up. “All the employees of the force need to undergo a medical check-up once a year. The medical check-up is usually conducted in November or December. Singh was denied the leave as he has to yet appear for the medical check-up,” said a senior official of the CRPF centre.

On September 12, a CRPF jawan, Surender Kumar, had climbed on top of the same tank threatening to commit suicide. Kumar, a native of Jammu and Kashmir, had also brought the same allegations against the authorities. Though Singh came down after two hours, Kumar remained on top of the tank for nearly 17 hours.

After the September incident, the CRPF authorities had erected an iron fence around the tank top to prevent such incidents. But sources at the group centre said Singh managed to cut through the iron fencing.

Deputy inspector general of the CRPF centre, Bhubaneswar, Subrat Mishra said this was not the right way to air grievances. “ If anyone has any problem, he needs to approach the higher authorities. These incidents are setting a worrying trend,” said Mishra.