In a new video, a sepoy with the Army Medical Corps (AMC) in Gujarat has alleged that the Army officers treat jawans as slaves. The jawan, a native of Maliya-Hatina tehsil of Junagadh district in Gujarat, purportedly released a video, alleging ill-treatment by Army officers, which went viral on the social media on Tuesday. The Army, reacting to the video, said in a release that the concerned jawan had repeatedly indulged in acts of indiscipline and that his allegations were baseless.
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In the video, the jawan, who identifies himself as Sindhav Jogidas, is purportedly saying that Army jawans are served the worst quality food despite the country having a huge defence budget. But he says that he doesn’t have proof of the poor quality food. He further alleges that some Army officers mistreat jawans. “Some officers of Army consider jawans as their slaves. Jawans have to do everything. They have no other way. The one who speaks out is gone because Army rules are very strict…. If we refuse to perform some duty or break a rule, we are fined. But when officers break rule, there are no rules,” the jawan is heard complaining in the video.
He further claims in the video that he took leave in January 2016 and went to Prime Minister’s office as well as the office of the Defence Minister with complaints, but did not get any response. He again took leave in October last year and went to PMO one more time, but failed to get any response. Instead, he claims in the video, that a court of inquiry was ordered against him and he was “harassed” for an year. In January this year, he went to Army headquarters, but he was prevented from going inside. He then wrote a letter to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, but got no reply. Instead, he was served a chargesheet because he had complained against officers and that he was fined, the video purportedly shows the jawan as saying.
However, in a release, the Army said that the allegations levelled by the jawan against officers were baseless and that he had been repeatedly found not adhering to discipline. The release stated that the Army had investigated the matter after the video went viral and found that Sindhav, who is employed in AMC as a housekeeper, had been booked for indiscipline twice during his service of three years.
After Sindhav approached Army headquarters to complain against the officers at MH Ranikhet, a one-man-inquiry found his actions in violation of chain of command and established the chain of correspondence of the Army. He was awarded 14-day pay fine for this indiscipline.
The release added that as requested by Sindhav for a field posting, he was transferred to MH in Leh and was dispatched on February 27. Presently, he is in transit to his place of posting, said the release. The number which the sepoy shares in the video was switched off.