Left red-faced, BSF has came out with fresh guidelines for maintaining high quality of food for its personnel along the border as the Union Home Ministry directed it to file a complete report on allegations of substandard food made by a soldier posted along the LoC.
BSF Director General K K Sharma met Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and submitted a second interim report on the allegations made by Tej Bahadur Yadav on a video that was uploaded on social networking sites.
The BSF chief avoided queries from waiting media after his meeting but the paramilitary force came out with a statement in the evening announcing six measures for providing quality food for its jawans posted along the border.
"Issues related to diet of jawans, issues of ration purchase procedures and pilferages thereof are the issues of prime concern for any organisation. BSF has taken a holistic view of the situation and follow-up process has been swung into action (sic)," the statement said and listed audit of prevalent system by team of senior commanding officers as one of the measures.
Among other steps taken by the BSF are chalking out shortcomings of the present process, suggesting procedural and systematic improvements, vigilance for double checks, enhancing formal and informal interactions with jawans and introduction of systemic innovations to ensure cashless transactions in all messes.
In its second interim report, BSF stated that the 'daal' shown in the jawan's video was uncanned from tinned food ration and the 'parantha' was cooked in the unit mess as per procedures followed at high-altitude locations.
Sharma conveyed to Mehrishi that the western front commander (Additional DG) of the force along with a dietitian has been rushed to the border post in the state where the jawan was posted for a detailed inquiry.
After the issue went viral on social media, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the government has sent "experts and dieticians to each and every post of the border to ensure that the food quality of the jawans must be as per the norms".
Officials said the report has mentioned that the 'daal' (lentils) shown in the video by Yadav was uncanned straight from the tinned food ration supply sent to the border post in Rajouri and hence was bland and devoid of spices and 'jeera', as alleged by Yadav.
The report also mentioned that apart from the regular lunch/dinner comprising 'daal' and 'roti', the unit mess also prepared fish curry on some occasions, something that is also visible in the videos posted by Yadav.
A final report in this regard is expected to be submitted by the BSF after the team of senior officers sent to the spot also finds out the actual "cooking norms, style and distribution" of food to the troops in these areas.