Indian Army Chief warns soldiers of indiscipline acts
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has warned that army personnel who do not use “proper, specified channels” to air their grievances would be liable to be punished.
“Proper channels are in place for jawans to put across their grievances…if they aren’t satisfied with action taken, they can contact me directly,” General Rawat said during an address on Army Day on Sunday.
“You will be found guilty for any action you take outside these channels and will also be liable for punishment,” the Times of India quoted the army chief as saying.
Rawat first talked about the grievances issue highlighted by a jawan, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh, who posted a video on social media criticizing the use of soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ or ‘buddy’.
“I had written an application to the PM in which I said that soldiers, who act as sahayaks, should not be made to polish shoes of officers,” said Singh, who serves with the 42 Infantry Brigade in Dehradun.
He alleged harassment by superiors for writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about these problems.
Last week, Gen Rawat said the army, on its part, had already asked the government to examine whether “non-combatants” should replace soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ in peace-time locations, while pressing for the system to continue in field and forward areas.
On Army Day, the general said the use of social media to highlight an issue could have deleterious effect on “brave soldiers guarding India’s borders.”