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Officers ‘bribed’ for sending jawans on UN missions
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
An Army jawan has alleged irregularities in the selection of personnel for United Nations peacekeeping missions. Some Army officers have demanded bribe from jawans for including them in contingents going abroad, he has further alleged.

The jawan, L/Nk Ajay Kumar Dubey, who was posted with a mechanised infantry battalion based in Punjab, further maintained that he was forced to sign his own discharge roll a few weeks ago, after he learnt that some officers in the unit were demanding money from jawans.

He claimed that jawans had paid as much as Rs 40,000 each to certain officers responsible for selection. They had withdrawn the money from their respective provident fund, the records of which exist in the unit office and other establishments.. A total of 40 personnel from the regiment, drawn from different companies were to be sent to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone in November.

A senior officer at the Western Command Headquarters, said that though the case has not been brought to their knowledge, the matter would be investigated. The unit, meanwhile, has moved away from Punjab.

Dubey said that he was posted in the battalion's headquarters company as a clerk and was responsible for preparing the selection roster for the mission. He said officers asked him to make changes in the roster everyday. When some officers learnt that he was aware of what was going on, Dubey said he was threatened that he would be killed if he did not sign his discharge roll. He had joined the Army in 2001 and was dismissed in March this year on “compassionate grounds”. Since then, he has met several senior officers, to plead his case and has even written to Army Headquarters for re-instatement.

He has decided to move the High Court on the advise of an officer. The petition has already been drafted by a local lawyer. “There is not a single adverse entry in by service book. Nor was I in a position to leave the service due to financial reasons,” he said. “A jawan was specially sent to take my discharge roll by hand to the Regimental Centre and my services were terminated within a week, whereas there are jawans who have been waiting for a long time to get their discharge,” he said.

This is not the only case of its kind. Some officers admit that there have been instances where certain officers have demanded bribe from jawans. A jawan on a UN Mission is paid $ 1,000 per month.

Already, a similar case is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where an NCO, Hav Harmesh Sharma of 15 Guards has alleged that he was forcefully dismissed from service after he had appraised senior officers about irregularities in the selection process. He had made several complaints about some officers demanding bribes from jawans, but the authorities took no cognizance. Instead a court of inquiry was initiated against him and he was pressurised to withdraw his complaint.


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