New Delhi: Army Chief Bipin Rawat on Friday said that soldiers can write to the Army regarding their grievances using a complaint and suggestions box, instead of using social media.
At his annual press conference, General Rawat described social media as a "two-sided" weapon which can be used favourably but can also be detrimental.
"I would like to announce that I have issued orders that in every army headquarters, we will have a chief of army staff suggestion-cum-grievance box placed at various places. We will follow suit with similar COAS redressal-cum-suggestion boxes being placed at command headquarters and then subsequently to lower formation," he said.
Assuring full confidentiality, the Army chief said anyone, irrespective of ranks or service, can use this mechanism to put whatever they wish to write into these letter boxes so that grievances can reach him directly.
General Rawat said the soldiers should write to him with names but he will ensure that the names of the personnel is deleted before any action is taken.
"We would like that people come directly to us rather than resorting to the social media or other means. Let the troops have the confidence in senior leadership of the army that their grievances, genuine of otherwise, will be addressed inright earnest. If dissatisfied, they can use other means," he said.
The Army Chief's response came after several videos emerged of Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans complaining about facilities provided to the troops, as well as, in one case, harassment from senior officers.
Referring to a video by Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh in which he alleged harassment by superiors, Rawat said that Singh may not have been happy with the response he received following his complaint.
On Eastern Commander Lt General P Bakshi’s accusation that people within the army were maligning him, Rawat said Bakshi should approach him with formal information.
On Chandu Chauhan, the soldier who was captured by Pakistan for straying across the Line of Control (LoC), the Army chief said soldier repatriation procedures would be followed since Pakistan had admitted that the Chauhan is with them.
Rawat said that further surgical strikes may be carried out if ceasefire violations by Pakistan increase again.
In a reference to the unrest in Kashmir, Rawat said that the Army’s priority was to fight the proxy war that threatened the country’s secular fabric.
“With synergised efforts of security forces, we have been able to bring situation under control in Jammu and Kashmir,” Bipin Rawat said.
Pitching for use of more technology to stop security breaches from across the border, the Army Chief admitted that completely relying on human effort was not the solution.