Army Chief Warns Of Strict Action For Lodging Complaints On Social Media

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:05 IST

General Rawat had urged the jawans not to raise their grievances directly via social media.

Army Chief Warns Of Strict Action For Lodging Complaints On Social Media
"Proper channels are in place for jawans to put across grievances. They can contact me directly," said General Rawat.

Newly appointed Army chief General Bipin Rawat today warned of strict action against soldiers who use social media for lodging complaints.

While addressing media during Army Day celebrations, General Rawat said, “Proper channels are in place for jawans to put across grievances, if they aren’t satisfied with action taken, they can contact me directly.”

He also said that despite Pakistan's continuous engagement in proxy war against India, "we want to restore peace on the Line of Control".

"But we will not hesitate from giving a fitting reply in case of any ceasefire violation," he asserted. The Army Chief was addressing the Army Day celebrations here, where he awarded gallantry medals to soldiers who showed extraordinary courage while performing duty.

"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," Gen Rawat said.

"Aapne jo karwai ki hai aap iske liye apradhjanak hain, aur saza ke haqdaar ho sakte hain (You are violating rules by your act and you could be punished for that)," he said, referring to instances of jawans taking to social media to air their grievances.

"It (airing of grievances on social media) has (negative) impact on the brave jawans who are serving the country along the border," he said.

On the terror menace, he said that in the last few months of 2016, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir turned very volatile. "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.

Earlier also, General Rawat had urged the jawans not to raise their grievances directly via social media. General Rawat said they can instead use a new grievance redressal system that will keep their identity secret.

Rawat announced the setting up of the 'Chief of Army Staff Redressal and Grievance Boxes' at the Army headquarter, at command headquarters and subsequently at lower levels.The soldiers' grievances through these boxes would reach the Chief of Army Staff directly.

Rawat's comment came a day after Lance Naik Yagya Pratap, in a video alleged that "jawans are being exploited in the Army by officers".

"Anyone, irrespective of ranks, can leave his/her grievance letter in the box. I will personally look at the problems raised via these boxes," Rawat said at a press conference. The Army Chief said the letters would be handled by his close staff and names of the complainants would be deleted before forwarding them for required actions.

He urged soldiers to have confidence in the senior leadership of the Army, and promised both anonymity of the complainant as well as "best efforts to address the problem properly".

However, he added: "If the complainant is unsatisfied with the action taken, he can choose other medium (to voice his grievance)." Rawat termed the social media a "two sided weapon".

Talking about the Sahayak system, against which Pratap had aired his grievances, the Army Chief said it was more of a "buddy system".

He also said that Lance Naik Pratap was a driver and had never worked as a Sahayak. The video, posted by Tez Bahadur Yadav on Facebook, made headlines since it alleged that troops were being served bad quality food and even have to go to bed with an “empty stomach” at times. The incident prompted the BSF to initiate an inquiry.