Chandigarh: In yet another breach of discipline in the Indian Army, around 16 soldiers of an armoured regiment based in Patiala left their unit after being forced by their seniors to perform `menial tasks`.
As per reports, the jawans were part of the 56 Armoured Regiment stationed at Patiala as part of the elite 1 Armoured Division.
The jawans were allegedly asked by some officers to carry out `menial tasks`. They allegedly protested stating that they belonged to Army`s clerk cadres and were supposed to do specific tasks only, The Indian Express reported.
Reports stated that the soldiers returned to their regimental centre in Ahmednagar after the Commanding Officer (CO) issued orders to punish them for showing dissent.
CO had the jawans put through a `Battle Physical and Proficiency Test (BPET) which requires one to run several kilometres and cross obstacles in full battle gear. They were then forced to do a `route march’.
The newspaper added that queries to Western Command`s Chandimandir-based headquarters went unanswered and no statement was issued in this regard.
Over a 1,000 soldiers have committed suicide since 2003, with the yearly toll regularly climbing over 100. Incidents of fragging (to kill or wound a fellow soldier) have also become a regular phenomenon in the 1.13-million strong Army.
A report by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research had held that "perceived humiliation and harassment, over and above occupational and familial causes", by their superiors often serves as the final "trigger" for jawans in stress-related cases in the forces.
The Army has, meanwhile, ordered a probe into the matter.