As the controversy surrounding the quality of food being supplied to the Border Security Force jawans spills over, the Union home ministry is mulling sending expert dieticians to the border areas to take stock of the dietary requirements of these soldiers posted in the cold snowy terrains along the international border. The dieticians will also review the quality of food being supplied to them at present.
The ministry's move follows concerns raised from various quarters within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party which is keenly following the controversy that has erupted through the social media after a BSF constable Tej Bahadur Singh posted a video standing in camouflage fatigue with a rifle in snow capped terrains of Jammu and Kashmir complaining to the home minister and the prime minister about the poor quality of food being supplied to jawans on the border.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spent the new year with jawans of the ITBP even as MoS home Kiren Rijiju celebrated Rakhi with central paramilitary forces. Rijiju's senior minister Rajnath Singh has made the maximum trips to the border areas, including a stay in forward area base, as compared to any home minister in recent times.
BSF chief K.K. Sharma on Wednesday submitted a report to the home ministry following Rajnath Singh's assurance that the matter will be inquired into. While the BSF and the MHA are tight-lipped about the content of the report, it is learnt that the forces have told the government that wherever the BSF is operating under the command of the army like J&K, the army ration is supplied to them. However, it gets cleared by the senior officers as well as a committee of jawans every month.
Though the the home ministry has admitted there were issues concerning the food supplied and unhappiness expressed by a section of the troopers, it is not satisfied with the allegations made by the constable. An inquiry against him is pending.
On Wednesday, Rijiju said,"I don't want to comment on that (BSF report) as of now, but I want to make a personal appeal to the people of the country and the media that do not make it a big issue. All this will work to hit the morale of the jawans."