Border Security Force Director General KK Sharma has thrown up an open challenge: "Walk into any of the BSF posts unannounced and check the quality of food."
Claiming that the food prepared in the BSF kitchens has always been good, the paramilitary force's chief pins the blame on ISI for trying to demoralise the troops by using a jawan's allegation of poor quality meals.
"I joined the BSF in 2012 (as an additional DG). No one (jawans or officers) ever complained about food... There may be issues about transfer or posting. So, I was rudely shocked when this person (Tej Bahadur Yadav) uploaded a video (alleging bad food)," Sharma told PTI.
"We already have very healthy systems in the force. We do constant checking of the food that is prepared in our kitchens. Food is not a problem at all," added Sharma.
Back in January, BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav had claimed that watery dal and burnt chapatis were being served to the troops at the border. The video on Facebook was later picked up media houses. An inquiry proved Yadav's allegations to be false and he was sacked from service.
"The videos were used by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) of Pakistan," said Sharma. "You may or may not be knowing that his (Yadav's) video was picked by our neighbour from 22 places and made to go viral (over the social media)," he added.
However, Sharma is not all negative about the incident. He feels this incident made him understand how social media can defame an institution and devise proper plans to handle such situations in the future.
"Now, we know and we are better prepared when something appears in the social media and we have systems that can immediately present the correct picture with facts," the DG told PTI. Also, the system of rations and other related subjects were further streamlined. Now, the force has a vigilance team to look into the food and ration issues.
But the BSF did not take any concrete decision on banning the use of mobile phones by jawans during duty hours. Phones help the troops to keep in touch with their dear ones, Sharma said. But they were advised to use the technology responsibly and reach out to seniors if they have any problem.