PATNA: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Wednesday discovered that the 59 constables of the elite jungle-warfare Counter Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) force, returning to battalion headquarters in Gaya early Saturday were feeling homesick and had decided to make a quick visit home. The CRPF will however conduct an official enquiry, and disciplinary action will be taken against all the constables, a senior CRPF official said.’
Manvinder Singh Bhatia, Inspector General (IG) of CRPF (Bihar sector), told The New Indian Express that the inquiry is being conducted by L Lhozem, commandant of the 205 battalion at their headquarters at Barachatti, in Gaya district. He said disciplinary action against them will be decided at the directorate level based on the inquiry report.
Bhatia termed the action of the 59 commandos as “unexpected and unauthorised absence” and denied media claims of it being a ‘mass bunk”. “We are looking at all angles of the unexpected action of the commandos, but it is not a matter of desertion as being portrayed by a section of the media,” he said. He also said that all the 59 commandos were back at the headquarters of their battalion on Tuesday afternoon. “Each of them has reported back for duty,” he said.
In the first such incident of its kind in the country’s elite paramilitary force, all 59 constables had deserted their train at Mughalsarai junction without permission from the havildar in-charge. In an inquiry conducted by the force’s senior officials, disciplinary action will be taken against all those involved in the alleged mass bunk and for doing so without the permission of the havildar heading the team, a senior CRPF official said.
During individual interactions with each of the commandos CoBRA battalion Inspector General Raju Bhargav and CRPF’s Deputy IG in Gaya, Sajauddin, on Tuesday were told that the commandos felt “suddenly homesick” as there were still two days time with them before the due date of joining their regiment, which was February 7.
“The commandos had to board the train two days earlier, and thought they had time in their hand for a visit home before joining back to duty on the due date. This was an unprecedented situation. They were not granted permission by the havildar leading them to leave the train, but they apparently defied him,” added Bhatia.
The commandos, all of constable rank of CRPF’s elite force, were returning to their headquarters two days prior to their joining date after six-months of training in Jammu and Kashmir.