12 hrs & counting... Army jawan does a Sholay stunt

A 35-year-old sepoy in the Army climbed up a telecom tower at the Ajmeri Gate end of New Delhi railway station on Friday afternoon and refused to budge until Defence Minister A K Antony speaks to him.

Past midnight Friday, K Muthu, a sepoy with 69 Engineer Regiment based in Kota, was still perched on a platform 100 feet up the tower.

He alleged that senior officers had harassed him by refusing him leave.

He threatened to jump if police tried to bring him down. "I want to speak to the Defence Minister. I will not come down until a fair inquiry is promised," he said.

Muthu has thrown down a bunch of papers, in which he has written his grievances as well as his phone number. Addressed to the commanding officer of his regiment, his letter has a litany of complaints against his seniors and the Army.

Muthu alleged that the officers did not grant him leave after his father passed away in 2009. "I had asked for three days, but got just one day to attend my father's funeral. After I returned, the audit department cut my salary," he said.

An Army officer said Muthu has been absent from his unit since July 7 without sanctioned leave. He said Muthu would be given a fair chance to present his case once he comes down. Other officers at the spot dismissed Muthu as a habitual offender. They claimed that he pulled off a similar "Sholay stunt" when he was posted in Bangalore.

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