13/01/2017 5:12 PM IST | Updated 13/01/2017 7:26 PM IST

Indian Army Opens New Grievance Redressal System After Soldiers Post Complaints On Social Media

Army Chief defends buddy system.

Mukesh Gupta / Reuters
File photo of Indian army soldiers.

NEW DELHI -- Concerned about soldiers airing grievances through the social media, the Indian Army opened a new redressal system where by soldiers can write to Chief of Army Staff directly. The identity of the soldier will be kept secret.

After two soldiers-- one from BSF and another from the CRPF--made shocking allegations about the working conditions, an Indian Army soldier positioned in 42 Brigade too has alleged of being mistreated by his seniors.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat complaints and suggestions sent by soldiers and officers will be looked into by his office. "I would prefer the complaints come directly to me rather than being aired through the social media," the Chief said, adding, "Troops should have the confidence in their senior leadership." Soldiers are deployed far away, and "it is important for me know what they are facing" and conditions they are working in, he said.

Stressing that there should not be any breakdown in communication, the Chief said that if the jawan feels that his grievances aren't being heard "we will have a new system of communication."

The General, however, defended the "buddy" or "Sahayak"system--where a non-officer soldier is attached with officers to help with his daily duties which includes aggregating his uniform, polishing shoes etc. The system is appointing Sahayak is controversial and is a colonial hangover.

The Chief accepted that system may have been occasional abused. "There could be bad hats on both sides," he said, but maintained that the system had proved to be affective in the battlefield.

The Indian Army, he said, is open dismantling the buddy system in peace stations but was irreplaceable in field.

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