IN A bid to deter soldiers from taking to social media to air their grievances, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Sunday warned of disciplinary action against those posting complaints online instead of using official channels of redressal. Addressing the Army Day parade at Delhi Cantonment, where he also gave away gallantry awards, General Rawat said, “A few of our friends have taken to social media to speak about their complaints. This affects the soldiers deployed at the borders…You can be held guilty of doing a crime for what you have done and invite punishment.”
WATCH VIDEO | Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Warns Jawans From Taking Complaints Online
After two videos surfaced last week on social media of soldiers complaining against officers of maltreatment, General Rawat said, “If any jawan has any grievance, he has been provided with the proper forum to resolve his issue and maintain a balance. If you are not satisfied with the action, then you can contact me directly.”
On Friday, the Army Chief had announced a new system for redressal where any soldier could approach him with any grievance, which had not been addressed. He had also assured that the identity of the complainant would be kept a secret. This process would involve the Army Chief’s Complaint and Suggestion Boxes at the Army Headquarters, followed by various Command Headquarters and lower formations.
On Sunday, the Army chief also conceded that terror activities had gone up in Jammu and Kashmir in past few months, and praised the role of security forces in the strife-torn state. “Be it LAC (Line of Actual Control) or LoC (Line of Control), we will take the appropriate action and our soldiers are doing a commendable job at all fronts,” he said.
Reiterating his strong message to Pakistan, General Rawat said, “We want peace on the border. But any attempt to disrupt the peace will not be tolerated. Our attempts to establish peace at the border should not be seen as a weakness. We want to extend a hand of friendship, but are also warning those who disrupt peace that we will display our power as well.”
Referring indirectly to the “surgical strikes” undertaken by the Army across the LoC, General Rawat said, “I understand that our adversaries are aware of our strengths. While being always ready, our policy is to take action at any place and any time. Our efforts to restore peace on the border must not be viewed as our weakness.”
General Rawat also spoke about the situation on the China border and measures initiated to reduce tension between the two sides. “On the northern front, India wants peace with China. Both sides are adopting confidence building measures (CBMs) so that tension on the border can be reduced. Despite transgressions on LAC, the armies on both sides have improved on mutual coordination,” he said.
Earlier, the Army chief inspected the parade at the Field Marshal Cariappa Parade Ground, where contingents from six different regiments took part. At least 87 defence attaches from 35 countries were present at the ceremony, where a live firing demonstration was also carried out.