New Delhi, Jan 13: The Army Chief General Bipin Rawat categorically said on Friday that if anyone in the force has any complaint they can directly approach to him and inform him about the same instead of resorting to alternate media.
At the Army’s annual briefing Gen. Rawat said that suggestion and grievance boxes are available at the HQs and other commands. Those who have any complaint can drop them in the boxes.
He was responding to BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s video complaining about substandard food served in the BSF.
“We have an excellent grievance redressal system. Social media is a double-edged sword and our communication has not broken down yet. Have issued orders to place Chief Of Army Staff boxes where people can drop their complaint. They need to write their names and we will ensure their identities are protected. Direct communication with seniors is a must. The jawan who posted the video had a problem with sahayak/buddy system we have. However, in the army, we operate in pairs. Such jobs should be voluntary. If someone is being forced against his will, then it is not right. His way of taking the issue up also wasn’t correct”, the Army Chief said.
Talking about the Army’s preparedness, General Rawat said while they have challenges along the borders, they have to be concerned about proxy war and terror that are affecting the secular fabric of our nation.
Rawat also added that there was a decline in the incidents of ceasefire violations. He said that the force will opt for surgical strikes if such incidents go up.
About soldier Chandu Chavan who strayed across LoC, Rawat said that Pakistan has given assurance that Chavan is with them. He added that there are procedures in soldier repatriations and it will be followed duly.
“If a soldier writes to us regarding his grievances penning down his identity, we will ensure that his identity is not made public,” General Rawat said.
He added that if a soldier is not satisfied with the action taken, he can choose other ways of voicing his grievance.
The Army Chief said that there are 17 terror camps on the other side. The launch pads which were pulled out after surgical strikes are coming back. Let us wait and watch to see how things unfold. Northern Command is looking pro-actively to counter propaganda. They wanted a ceasefire. Infiltration is on.
On effectively containing terrorist activities, Gen Rawat said, “We have to strengthen those men on the ground with better equipment. We were relying excessively on placing guards to police our camps. It is not the healthy way since we end up using our manpower to guard ourselves which may be exactly what the enemy wants. We will incorporate technology, induct ballistic helmet instead of the patka, better bullet proof jackets and better night vision devices. The Uri brigade commander was shifted and given a second command because he has to get one. If we deny it he will go to court. I must also tell you that in the army being removed from a command is a disgrace.”
On the situation in North East, the Army Chief said that the NSCN IM was talking to us but felt that ceasefire did not exist beyond Nagaland and thus was free to do what it wanted in Manipur. However, “we believe all Naga tribes are with us and there is no setback to the peace process”, he added.