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Indian govt plays down video protests by soldiers

NEW DELHI: A string of videos posted on the internet by disgruntled Indian soldiers were acts by individuals and did not represent a wider malaise, the government told the Lok Sabha on Friday.

A number of videos were uploaded online recently by members of the army, air force and central police forces complaining about the conditions they worked in, “poor” quality of food and alleged ill-treatment meted out to them by seniors, Indian Express said.

“Videos of two soldiers of army with reference to their grievances were circulated on social media. These appear to be individual views of the soldiers concerned and do not reflect the collective feedback received through multiple channels,” junior Defence Minister Subhash Bhamre said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He said there was a laid down mechanism for feedback/redressal of grievances in armed forces starting from daily roll calls where their concerns could be addressed to company commanders.
Clips posted online by disgruntled soldiers did not indicate wider malaise, Lok Sabha told

“The CO of the unit collectively addresses through a Sainik Sammelan at least once a month and resolves the problems faced by jawans.

“Also, each soldier is personally interviewed by the CO every time the individual proceeds on leave, temporary duty and returns to the unit. Soldiers can, at their will, seek audience of the Commanding Officer/Commanders in chain for redressal of their grievances,” Mr Bhamre said.

Replying to another question, the minister said “informal” mechanisms for redressal of grievances in armed forces include personal interviews, suggestion boxes, open forum on Air Force Internet among others.

The army has also set up a WhatsApp number for soldiers to post their problems directly to Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat instead of taking to social media directly.

Mr Bhamre said a direct feedback from troops on quality of rations is also compiled on quarterly basis by Formation Head­quarters and it is pursued at the highest level.

Besides, a web-based Centralised Grievances Redress and Monitoring System has been designed and implemented in all ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, he said.

courtesy : dawn news



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