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Poor Food Quality: MHA Tells Panel BSF Officers Found Negligent

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Story Dated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 04:41 hrs UTC

The home ministry has conveyed to a parliamentary panel that some officers of the BSF were found to be "negligent" over complaints of poor quality food being served to jawans and action has been initiated against "some persons".

The admission, by the Union Home Secretary before the Committee on Estimates, headed by Murli Manohar Joshi, bears significance as constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, who had complained about sub-standard food being served to the jawans, was sacked in April 2017 by the Border Security Force (BSF), which said he was "found guilty on certain charges of indiscipline including uploading the said video in violation of laid down procedures and rules".

The ministry's response to the reports of substandard food being served to BSF personnel was incorporated at the committee's report on 'Central Armed Police Forces' and Internal Security Challenges - Evaluation and Responses Mechanism' which was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Union home secretary told the committee: "Sir, there are two things regarding the video that has been posted and wherein complaint has been made about the quality of food being served in BSF".

Home Secretary, as quoted in the reportOn one hand, some of our officers were found to be negligent in our preliminary enquiry. Action has been taken against some persons. The process of taking action against erring persons is still going on. The Director General of the BSF would give details in this regard. But the ration provided to the BSF is sufficient.

In its report, the committee noted with concern that there was an "adverse report on social media" about the quality of food in the BSF and during the interaction with the representatives of the home ministry and the paramilitary forces, the committee did not get a satisfactory response with regard to quality, contents/ingredients of food served to jawans.

"The committee are of the considered view that providing good quality food to CAPFs personnel is not only necessary to keep them healthy and fit but also for boosting their morale.

"The committee, therefore, recommended that a mechanism be put in place for testing food items supplied to CAPFs at the source of supply itself, whereby it is tested and certified in respect of nutritional values, hygiene and labelled as 'fit for consumption'," the report stated.

The panel has also suggested that the central government should supplement the efforts of state governments and provide all assistance, including financial, needed by the states.

The committee has underlined that the states must develop their own systems and upgrade as well as augment their own police forces.

"The central government should provide adequate training and equip them with state of the art weapons/machines to enable them to effectively deal with militancy and insurgency besides handling the day-to-day law and order problems of their states," it said.

Briefing about the findings of the committee, Joshi told a press conference that the panel has felt that the central government should supplement the efforts of the state governments and provide all assistance including financial by the states.

The committee has also recommended that the state governments and the home ministry may explore the concept of deputation of state police force personnel in good numbers to specific CAPF for a period of three years or so where they would be trained and deployed, he said.

The panel has felt that such a measure would take off some pressure from CAPF and would also strengthen the state police in the long run.

The committee noted with concern the instances of involvement of children in violence in Jammu and Kashmir as a dangerous proposition and reflected adversely on the working of intelligence agencies as well as security forces for not anticipating the gravity of the situation in the Valley.

The panel felt that such situations are to be handled with utmost care and the youth need to be properly counselled by the professionals so that they don't get trapped again and indulge in violent activities.

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