Indian soldiers 'treated like slaves' as complaints grow against Army online

Facebook videos about officers' behaviour and working conditions have become viral sensations

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Dissent within the Indian Army is increasingly being aired out in public via social media, as another soldier made headlines on Tuesday with a Facebook video about the treatment of troops. 

In recent months soldiers have come forward to voice a number of complaints, mostly surrounding the behaviour of superior officers and general working conditions.  

Jawan Sindhav Jogidas posted a video online in which he claimed that soldiers were being “treated like slaves”, fed substandard fruit and vegetables and beaten for objecting.

"The jawans (soldiers) are given the lowest quality of food which is just enough for survival. Some officers keep jawans as slaves but no one can speak against the officers," Mr Jogidas alleged. 

He expressed regrets about speaking out, but said he felt he had no other option.

"I was punished for raising complaints," he said. "Army is the only service where combatants were forced to serve officers. 

"I am sure that Army won't accept these complaints. I did not want to speak about the Army in public or social media, but I had no other choice but to raise my complaint in public.”

The Indian Army has rubbished the accusations and claimed an official response would be released soon, India Today reported. 

They did however release a list of misdemeanours Mr Jogidas is responsible for, including refusing to clean bed pans in a military hospital and outstaying his leave. 

This is the not the first time a soldier in the Indian Army has raised concerns. 

A couple of months ago, another soldier, stationed along the border in Jammu and Kashmir, said that troops often have to serve on “empty stomachs”. 

Tej Bhahadur Yadav also posted a video on social media, where he accused officers of “illegally selling off” supplies that were intended for soldiers, News 18 reported. 

"Governments change, but our situation doesn't change… We only get a paratha (piece of flatbread) and tea as breakfast and this is without any pickle or vegetables.

“…We slog for 11 hours and at times we have to stand throughout the duty hours. For lunch, we get 'dal' (dried, split pulses) which only has 'haldi' (turmeric) and salt, with roti (piece of wholemeal bread). This is the quality of the food we get.” he said.

The Border Security Force responded to the allegations and like the Mr Jogidas case, they claimed Mr Yadav was also a troubled single case. 

“Constable Tej Bahadur as an individual has a difficult past. From initial days of his career, he needed regular counselling.

“Different correction mechanics have been applied for the individual's welfare as he was habitual offender of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism, misbehaving and using force with superior officers,” the force said in a statement.

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