Ordered to perform ‘menial tasks’, jawans leave unit


Around 16 soldiers belonging to an armoured regiment stationed in Patiala have left the unit and returned to their regimental centre in Ahmednagar, allegedly after their superiors forced them to do "menial tasks".

The soldiers belong to the 56 Armoured Regiment, stationed in Patiala as part of the elite 1 Armoured Division, sources in the Army's Western Command said.

Sources said the jawans left the unit after the Commanding Officer ordered that they be punished for protesting against being forced to carry out certain "menial tasks" by some officers.

The CO allegedly had the jawans put through a Battle Physical Efficiency and Proficiency Test (BPET) — which involves running for several kilometres and crossing obstacles in full battle gear — followed by a forced "route march".

The soldiers had allegedly protested that since they belonged to the Army's clerk cadres, they were supposed to do only specific tasks.

A detailed questionnaire sent to authorities at Western Command headquarters in Chandimandir today — seeking a reaction and asking if an inquiry had been ordered into the incident — received no response. Repeated calls to the Western Command spokesperson till late in the evening were answered with the promise that the Army would issue a statement, but no statement was ultimately issued.

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