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Scrutiny
  
Denied leave? Shoot your Senior
Compulsory leaves can go a long way in Soothing Frayed nerves of Soldiers and in Ensuring that Innovative Techniques to get leaves are Avoided
28/04/2011

This is one way of getting yourself heard that is thankfully not being used in civil society yet. Earlier this month, a CRPF jawan Shamshad Ali posted at BJP headquarters in New Delhi fired in the air, emptying the magazine of his INSAS semi-automatic rifle as he was quite frustrated on his leave requests being denied. In November 2010, an IRB jawan Shamshair fired at his senior in the Chamba district as his leave request was denied. In December 2006, a BSF jawan, Gurmel Singh, fired many rounds from his gun because he was denied leave. In October 2009, an Army jawan, Gupteshwar, shot dead his senior after his leave was denied. In July 2007, a jawan Mohan Chand Munda, shot dead his senior after his leave was denied. And many more...

The fact is that unless the top Army brasses address this issue by the scruff of its neck, this unrepentant bias towards the jawans will continue unpardonably.

It goes without any argument that our defence personnel and their families work under huge stress. A 24x7 work profile in emergency situations further makes their life unbelievably tough. Yes, there are recreation facilities in army and other paramilitary forces, but these are confined largely to top level officials. And for the lowest in the food chain – the jawans – the only thing they look forward to throughout their tenure is moments that they can spend with their loved ones. Army personnel do get 60 day annual leaves and 30 day casual leaves.

But it’s too easy for a senior to deny these leaves; and they do too, in some cases just for upping their narcissistic ego. Can this be resolved? Yes, quite easily. Make certain number of leaves compulsory for jawans to be taken on an annual basis – at least a month, to start with. This will ensure that while a senior could still decide when to grant the leaves, the senior would not be able to refuse the leave perennially.

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