NEW DELHI: The wife of Tej Bahadur Yadav, a Border Security Force or BSF jawan who had alleged bad food and near-starvation in Facebook videos that went viral, today said he has been arrested and his “retirement has been cancelled.” The BSF has said the constable is not under arrest.
“He managed to call up today using someone else’s phone and told me that he’s under arrest, being threatened & mentally tortured,” Sharmila Bahadur told news agency ANI. She said her husband had earlier told her that he was being forced to retire and had said he would be back home in Rewari on January 31.
The BSF has said Constable Tej Bahadur Yadav is not under arrest. His request for voluntary retirement was rejected, it said, as an inquiry against him is pending. The jawan, the paramilitary forced said, had been informed on January 30 that his voluntary retirement was being cancelled.
BSF sources said the constable has full freedom to talk to his wife on the phone.
An inquiry was ordered after Constable Yadav, posted at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, put up four videos on Facebook complaining about the quality of food served to jawans. He highlighted what he said was breakfast of “one burnt parantha and a glass of tea… no butter, no jam, no pickle…”
Dressed in fatigues and holding a rifle on camera, constable Yadav alleged that jawans who serve in harsh, icy conditions often go to bed hungry and appealed to people to share his video, asking, “Can a jawan do his duty with this kind of food?”
The video was viewed over 3 million times, drawing shocked criticism. Opposition parties attacked the government on what they called the “appalling neglect of soldiers.”