SRINAGAR: Civilians living near paramilitary forces’ camps, particularly those of the Border Security Force (BSF), say officers sell fuel and food provisions meant for the personnel to outsiders at half the market rate.
The “disclosure” made by jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav of the BSF’s 29th Battalion in videos on social media supplements accusations of shady dealings by paramilitary officers, particularly those posted to border areas.
Shopkeepers near the Humhama BSF headquarters near Srinagar airport are beneficiaries of petrol and diesel, and even food stores from men of rank, according to a jawan and some civilians. “They sell food items like dal and vegetables to civilians outside the camp at cheaper rates and leave us bereft of the facilities. They even deny us our daily-use items and sell the same to their agents outside the camps,” a BSF jawan said on the condition of anonymity.
A civil contractor added, “We get petrol from BSF officers in charge of provisions at Humhama camp at half the market rate… Other items, like rice and spices, are also available much cheaper.”
A furniture dealer who requested anonymity said the “purchasing officers, while placing orders for elegant furniture for their offices, take a commission that is more than what we earn”. The dealer added, “There is no e-tendering in the BSF. The officer will purchase furniture and take a commission and even compromise on the quality of the items.”
The story is the same when it comes to some CRPF officers. CRPF IG Ravideep Singh Sahi, who was posted to Srinagar as IG administration a month ago, said he would look into pilfering from stores for profit, if any took place at all. “The jawan is of paramount importance for the force and there should no compromise on the quality of his life when he is on duty,” IG Ravideep Sahi said, adding that the CRPF had a proper mechanism for all purchases and that one could not go beyond those rules.
A CRPF jawan on law and order duty in Srinagar, however, rejected the notion that the officers treated them badly. “We get quality food on time, and after duty hours we are provided proper accommodation at the concerned police stations.”
The BSF has ordered an inquiry into Yadav’s allegations, with the report due Wednesday.