The wife of a BSF soldier, whose complaint about bad food at his unit had triggered a row, approached the Delhi high court on Thursday, saying her husband has gone incommunicado and nobody could tell his whereabouts.
In a habeas corpus plea, soldier Tej Bahadur Yadav’s wife Sharmila said she was worried about his safety as she has not been able to contact him for the past three days. She pleaded that her husband be produced before the court.
Sharmila, who lives with the couple’s son in Haryana’s Rewari, alleged earlier this month that her husband has been detained by the BSF.
Yadav posted four videos on social media in January, showing unpalatable food at his camp along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. He alleged that officers sold on the sly ration for troops.
The videos triggered widespread outrage, but the BSF dismissed his allegations and called him a repeat offender “who had issues with intoxication and discipline”. A probe was ordered.
Sharmila sought the court’s help after her husband told her on February 7 that “they are taking him to an unknown location”, the soldier’s brother-in-law Vijay said.
The wife has not been able to talk to him thereafter, as he has stopped answering calls to his personal mobile phone.
“Nobody tells anything,” Vijay said alleging that even the person answering the official phone, from which Yadav used to call earlier, does not know where he is.
The family is said to have written to the BSF, but the paramilitary force has not replied.
Fearing for his safety, Sharmila took the habeas corpus route — a provision in law requiring a person under arrest or detention to be brought before a judge or to court.
The wife said she received a call from him on January 31, informing her that his voluntary retirement has been cancelled and he was kept under detention.
In an audio clip of a recorded call purportedly between Yadav and his wife, he is heard telling her that his life was in danger and his seniors were torturing him.
“I know too many wrongdoings of these officers. That’s why they are doing this to me. Please do something and take my message to the public. Jai Hind,” Yadav says in the clip.
A BSF spokesperson in Delhi denied Bahadur was detained, but said his request for voluntary retirement could not be accepted because a court of inquiry was on against him.