New Delhi: Less than a week after soldier Roy Matthew was found dead under mysterious circumstances, after he featured in a video exposing the ‘sahayak’ (orderly) system in the army, another jawan’s video has gone viral.
In the latest video, jawan Sindhav Jogidas complains about the way some officers are allegedly misusing the system.
“I was punished for raising complaints. The army is the only service where combatants were forced to serve officers. I am sure the army will not accept these complaints,” Jogidas says in the video he posted. on social media on Monday evening.
“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,” he adds.
He also alleged that facilities provided to the jawans in the Indian army were an eyewash. “The jawans are given the lowest quality of food which is just enough for survival. Some officers keep jawans as their servants but no one can speak against the officers,” he says in the video.
Jogidas alleged that he was punished and asked to do orderly duties after being late from leave by two days.
“The officers started harassing me when I refused to do the ‘sahayak’ job. I was kept under army custody for seven days,” he says.
“Army officers treat soldiers as their slaves. I approached Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and defence ministry. After this, a Court of Inquiry (COI) was ordered against me for writing to PMO. I was harassed for a year, but I kept quiet,” he added.
He said he again went to the army headquarters on January 18 this year but was not allowed inside, following which he wrote to army chief General Bipin Rawat but there was no reply. The jawan said he received no reply even after complaining on the WhatsApp number given by army for grievance redressal.
He said there was no official record of the number of ‘sahayaks’ in the army.
There has been no official reaction to Jogidas’ allegations as yet. However, sources in the army said he was originally employed in the sanitation department.
“Jogidas joined the army in 2014. His designation is that of ‘sipahi housekeeper’ which means he was assigned sanitation work,” the sources said.
“In 2015, he overstayed his leave and was awarded a seven days’ pay fine. He wanted to leave the service. But after processing his case, he was advised final counselling and then said he did not want to leave and chose to serve in a high altitude area,” the sources added.
They said that last year too he defied the orders of the authority.
“Jogidas declined to clean bed pans, which was part of his duty, and was thus awarded seven days’ imprisonment in January 2016. He was posted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Military Hospital in Ranikhet. That time again he wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office and was thereby directed to the defence ministry,” the sources explained.
They said the jawan repeatedly broke the chain of command.
“A one-man inquiry was ordered by the army’s Uttarakhand unit against Jogidas, which found his charges baseless in February 2016. Thereafter, for breaking chain of command, he was given 14 days’ pay fine. As punishment, he was posted to Leh on February 28. He has not reported there to work till date,” the sources added.
Earlier jawan Roy Mathew, who featured in a sting video exposing the army’s orderly system, was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
His decomposed body was found hanging from a ceiling last week, with doctors saying he possibly died a week before.
In the video, he criticised the army officers who “misused juniors for menial work”.
In January, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur posted a video on social media showing the poor quality of food served to soldiers.