BSF commander show causes junior for not attending 'rope pulling' farewell event

11 Jun 2018

A BSF sub-officer has been warned and issued with a show cause notice by his commanding officer (CO) for failing to attend a ceremonial 'rope pulling' farewell party of a senior at a force camp in West Bengal, leading to a "war of letters" between the two.
The officiating CO of the 155th battalion of the Border Security Force, a second-in-command rank official, shot off another letter to the Inspector under him after the latter argued that such an event was "neither regimental or official" and is meant to be accorded only to the head of the unit or establishment, according to records accessed by PTI.
This is the second instance that has come to light in the country's largest border guarding force in the recent past where a supervisory officer has reprimanded his junior for not following the age-old traditions and norms of the uniformed force.
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his displeasure and directed the BSF to withdraw a seven-day pay cut order against a jawan after his CO found him guilty of "disrespecting" the PM.
The current instance was triggered after Inspector Damodara B B failed to attend a traditional event of pulling the vehicle by ropes to see off an assistant commandant rank officer from the unit mess at 9 am on June 6 at the BSF camp in Salugura in West Bengal.
The very same day the unit's deputy Manish Negi, filing in for commanding officer on leave, shot off an explanation-cum-warning letter to Damodara seeking reasons for his failure to attend the event.
The Inspector replied stating he came to work on that day as "routine" as there was no written order communicated to him and that such an event was neither "regimental nor official" and was restricted to be accorded to the head of the department, which was not the case this time.
Miffed by the junior official seeking a copy of rank-wise "entitlements" of officers from him, Negi shot off another show cause notice to him stating that the Inspector should know that it was the tradition of the force to see off an officer who was either retired or moving out for a new posting.
Senior BSF officers said the forces' North Bengal frontier and the headquarter has taken note of the incident and an inquiry is being carried out to ascertain the circumstances and facts of the case.
"No doubt, this war of letters cannot be ignored as an aberration as the supervisory officers are always told to be judicious and issue rationale-based orders while undertaking disciplinary action on paper or verbally.
"However, the uniformed forces have a long tradition and even in this case the officiating CO has pointed out that the Inspector concerned has attended such events in the past. This will be resolved soon," the official said.
He said there have been issues in the past between the combat and non-combat administrative cadre officials, as in this case where the Inspector is from ministerial cadre, and the discipline of a uniformed force is the top most irrespective of a personnel belonging to any cadre.
However, another official said that such ceremonial events were accorded to a CO or formation commander and hence arbitrary use of such traditions should not be allowed as this led to grievance amongst the jawans and junior officers.
The 2.5-lakh personnel strong BSF is primarily tasked to guard Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from rendering a number of duties in the internal security domain.
A number of its battalions are deployed under the North Bengal frontier in West Bengal to guard the Indo-Bangla international border. PTI