Whistleblower BSF trooper dismissed from service, says will move court
New Delhi: BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav — who triggered a political uproar when his video clip on “substandard food” served to BSF men went viral in January — was on Wednesday dismissed from service, an official said.
Yadav said he will approach the government and move the court if he fails to get justice. He has the option to appeal his dismissal, which came after a BSF court found him guilty of indiscipline, in a higher court within three months.
The video clip had triggered an uproar across the country, with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Home Ministry seeking detailed reports from the Border Security Force (BSF).
A BSF Summary Security Force Court (SSFC) in Jammu found the constable, serving in the 29th Battalion, guilty of indiscipline.
“Yadav has been found guilty of all charges and awarded dismissal from service today (Wednesday) as per the provisions of the BSF Act and rules. The individual (Yadav) has options to appeal to higher court against the verdict within three months,” an SSFC statement said.
The SSFC, which commenced from April 13 and concluded on Wednesday, found Yadav “made false allegations on the social media regarding the quality of food and did not adhere to formal grievance redressal mechanism in the force”.
“(He) neglected to obey the general orders of the force in which he carried two mobile phones while on operational duty, (which goes) against the SOP (Standard Operation Procedure), and also posted photographs in uniform on social media in contravention of instructions,” it said in its order.
The BSF court said Yadav was given all opportunities for defence during its proceedings.
In his first reactions, Yadav said “I was punished for telling the truth”.
“I will first approach the central government for justice and if I am denied justice there, then I will go to the court,” he told some media persons in Jammu.
Yadav’s wife Sharmila also expressed dissatisfaction over the BSF court’s order and took to social media to protest the decision.
In a video message, she asked the authorities and the government whether a mother will send her child in force after the episode.
She said, “The court has given its decision. He (Yadav) has been dismissed. He had raised his voice in the interest of soldiers. What is his crime? He has been dismissed after his 20 years’ service for complaining about bad food served to BSF troopers. Will any mother send her child in the force in future?”
Sharmila said that the government has done wrong with her husband. “He should have sent him home with honour.”
Yadav, wearing a camouflage uniform and carrying a rifle, posted a video clip on a social media website in January to complain about the quality of food served to security personnel and accused unnamed officers of illegally selling food supplies meant for troopers.
Since then, the trooper was facing the inquiry on various charges, including indiscipline, and his plea for voluntary retirement was rejected by authorities.