New Delhi: A BSF jawan was handed down a pay cut as punishment for showing "disrespect" towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a routine drill.
But an intervention by Modi who expressed his displeasure on Wednesday and wanted the punishment to be withdrawn immediately led the force to rescind its order deducting a week’s salary from the jawan.
The prime minister directed the Border Security Force(BSF) on Wednesday to immediately withdraw the order, said a spokesperson of the paramilitary, adding that it had been rescinded.
Constable Sanjeev Kumar, posted in the 15th battalion of the BSF deployed in West Bengal's Nadia district, was found "guilty" by his commanding officer (CO) for using the words "Modi programme" while attending a morning roll call task on February 21.
The CO of the unit, Commandant Anup Lal Bhagat, issued an order handing down a "pay fine of 7 days", which means a salary cut for a week, to the jawan for "showing disrespect towards the PM".
"The prime minister has expressed his displeasure and directed the force to immediately withdraw the punishment. The order has been rescinded and the concerned Commandant has been cautioned for not dealing with the matter judiciously," the BSF spokesperson said.
Officials said the jawan referred to an event that he attended as "Modi programme" during the 'zero parade' or reporting assembly of briefing seniors about their official activities.
They said the CO found this kind of reference to the prime minister by the jawan as improper and ordered an inquiry against him. The inquiry, the officials said, was completed in a day and constable Kumar was held guilty and charged under section 40 of the BSF Act (an act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force).
"Senior officers of the force have been instructed time and again to display qualities of a good leader, both in letter and spirit, for the personnel under their command. These men and women work in some of the most arduous conditions across the country. Their commanders should ensure discipline in the force but the punishment has to be commensurate to the offence," a senior officer of the force said, underling that handing down a pay cut to the jawan was not a judicious decision.
The 15th battalion of the BSF is deployed to guard the India-Bangladesh international border in West Bengal.