New Delhi: Soon after the video of Border Security Force constable Tej Bahadur Singh complaining of the poor quality of food served to BSF soldiers went viral, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable, Jeet Singh, took to social media to appeal to the nation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give equal facilities to personnel employed with the paramilitary force just like the Indian Armed Forces.
The video says that despite the fact the CRPF does a commendable job offering round-the-clock security to public and business establishments, and high-profile personalities, as well as conducting poll duty, there's a "discrimination" between the services and facilities offered to personnel employed by the Indian Army and that by the CRPF.
"We don't get canteen facility. We don't even get medical facilities... Our pension has stopped.. We don't even get our holidays in time. (And) our duty is always the maximum," Singh says in the video, addressed directly at Modi.
"We don't have any problem with the facilities given to the Indian Army. They should get the facilities. But why is this discrimination towards us?" he asks.
Singh also highlights the work that the CRPF does, saying, "We offer security during polls whether it's a Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha or municipal or a gram panchayat election. We secure the public sites like airports, religious shrines, temples, mosques, gurudwaras."
"There are many govt schools and colleges where you are paying teachers salaries up to Rs 50,000 or Rs 60,000. They spend vacations at home while we spend our time in the jungles of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand and in the Valley of Kashmir. A CRPF jawan neither gets any welfare benefits nor does a CRPF jawan receive holidays on time," Singh complains.
Citing apathy towards the personnel employed by the CRPF, Singh says, "There's no one to address our pain. Are we not entitled to it? Even after doing our duty?"
Unlike the Indian Army, which gets a pension from the government (and likely to improve with the government clearing One Rank One Pension scheme), Singh also alleged that the pension to CRFP has been stopped. "What will do when we leave our jobs after 20 years?" Singh asks in the video. However, CRPF jawans like any other working person in the country can avail pension via the National Pension System Scheme.
Singh claims that there are not many options for a CRPF personnel after his duty life is over while he laments the lack of ex-servicemen quota.
The CRPF came into existence in the year 1939 as Crown Representative’s Police on 27 July 1939, and later became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December, 1949. The CRPF website calls it a big organisation with 239 battalions spread across four zones. CRPF takes national as well as international missions.