Border Security Force (BSF) officers who lead a “lavish” lifestyle or are members of costly clubs would be identified as “suspects” under a new vigilance drive initiated by the force that guards sensitive Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
A section of officials termed these criteria as “ridiculous”.
The country’s largest border guarding force regularly conducts a confidential exercise of identifying officials with suspicious credentials or for indulging in corrupt practices but some new parameters have recently been added for creating the inglorious list of shady personnel for 2017.
Sources said the latest move has come in the backdrop of the arrest of a senior BSF Commanding Officer (CO) by the CBI for his alleged nexus with smugglers while his posting along the Indo-Bangla border in West Bengal. He was arrested by the central probe agency with Rs 45 lakh in cash as soon as he alighted a train in his hometown in Kerala.
The new vigilance drive plan initiated by the force, also accessed by news agency PTI, had asked all the field formations of the force — especially those on the two borders– to identify such officials and report back to the headquarters here.
Any officer who leads a lavish lifestyle, has amassed assets disproportionate to his income or is found to be the member of a costly club will be named in the “agreed list” of suspect officers, a senior official said quoting the plan. Also, those commanders or officers who “very often throw lavish parties” or are members of “very costly clubs” will be marked as suspects, he said.
Any officer who meets people, with whom he or she has official dealings, at home or at a hotel will also be identified as that with doubtful credentials, the official said. This is an exercise that is conducted normally to identify wrongdoers or to say black sheeps in the force. However, some pointers to identify suspects have been recently added.
“Some of it looks ridiculous as a corrupt officer may cover his tracks cleverly rather than throwing lavish parties or taking the membership of a costly club,” another force official said.
The vigilance plan adds that these red flags are “only indicative” and not exhaustive triggers to identify a suspect officer in the over 2.5-lakh personnel strong paramilitary force.