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After jawans' videos go viral Army Chief announces complaint box, says will himself open it

After many videos of jawans highlighting their poor work conditions started going viral this week, inciting public anger, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat announced to introduce a complaint box which he himself will open.

He also said that complaints or feedback by soldiers should be sent to his office rather than through social media, stressing the importance of problems being handled internally. General Rawat also told reporters, "In a force of over 12 lakhs, there will be grievances. And often the reason for grievances is something else."

An army jawan posted in Dehradun said yesterday that he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, the Defence Minister and others, seeking their intervention, but has been threatened and "tortured" after that.

"Don't come through social media. Have confidence in the seniority leadership," General Bipin Rawat said. "Social media is a two-sided weapon - sometimes it has a detrimental effect."

The army chief said that the identity of the solider making the complaint will be protected while the case is being investigated and later, the name will be deleted to guard against retributive action.

"Every jawan matters to us," said the army chief, adding that "grievance or complaint boxes" should be used to deposit written complaints that will then be taken up directly by his office.

Earlier this week, Tej Bahadur Yadav, a jawan with the Border Security Force or BSF, posted videos on Facebook that showed the food that he said was being served to soldiers like him at the Line of Control.

The videos quickly went viral racking up lakhs of views and front-page headlines.