Soldier denounces ‘batman’ system, poor food
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Another soldier has taken to the social media to complain about the system of ‘batman’ in the army and what he said was poor quality food served to the men in uniform.
Sindhav Jogidas of the Army Medical Corps said he was airing his grievances publicly because his complaints to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defence Ministry had gone unheeded.
“I apologize to the people of the nation and the government (because) my video will hurt your sentiments. Every Jawan wants the respect of the Army to be high,” Jogidas said, speaking in Hindi.
“How long can we tolerate? A lot of wrong things are happening.”
Referring to the “batman” system, called “Sahayak” duty, he said some officers treated soldiers attached to their residences as their servants.
“Jawans have to follow orders because those who speak (against it) are victimized.”
He said he went to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and the Defence Ministry to complain and again to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“I did not want the issues related to the Army to come on the social media.
“When the reply came, they slapped a case of disciplinary action against me and there were two courts of inquiry. I was harassed for a year but I kept quiet.
“I took leave again and came to Delhi… I went to the Sena Bhavan (Army Headquarters) but no one allowed me to go inside. Then I wrote a letter to General Bipin Rawat but there was no reply.
“At the end, I was given a chargesheet because I had written against my officers. I have already been punished twice. This time I had to give up 14 days of salary as fine.
“If we refuse any duty or break a rule, we are punished immediately. But when officers break rules, there are no rules or regulations for them,” he said.
The soldier said “because of some officers, the Army is maligned”.
“It is sad that instead of fighting the enemy, we have to fight within the force. It is true that we take salary for our duty but we are giving the most important years of our life to the Army.
“Many brothers are united in this fight and we have been raising our voice time and again.
“But no on listens to us… I want to ask if the government is really unaware of these facts or we are just being ignored.”
The soldier also alleged that the food given to soldiers was of poor quality.
“In many units they send food just for survival — the cheapest vegetables, fruits and worst kind of food is given. But I have no proof, so I will not say much on this.”
The video comes days after Lance Naik Roy Mathew, seen criticizing the ‘Sahayak’ system in a sting video, was found dead in a barrack in a Maharashtra cantonment on March 3.
The Army said his “suicide” could be the result of events triggered by the sting operation.
In January, another soldier, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap, alleged in a video that soldiers were exploited by officers.