February 7, 2017 3:24:37 am
In a rare case of “insubordination” and “unauthorised leave”, as many as 59 trainee commandos of CRPF’s elite unit, CoBRA, went missing on Friday in transit from Srinagar in J&K to Gaya in Bihar, where they were deployed for anti-Maoist operations.
The commandos were part of a 300-member contingent that had finished its basic training in CRPF’s centre in Kashmir and was slated for deployment in Maoist-hit areas of Gaya on February 7 as their first assignment.
CRPF sources said they were supposed to board a train from Jammu on February 5 and reach Gaya on February 7 after changing a train at Mughalsarai in Bihar. However, thanks to roads being cleared of snow in quick time by the administration in Jammu and Kashmir, the contingent reached Jammu on February 1 itself.
“They thus boarded a train for Mughalsarai on February 2. The next day when they reached there, they asked the party commander to grant them leave for a couple days as they belonged to areas around Mughalsarai and there was still time to join the duty. When the party commander refused, they proceeded on their own. The party commander informed headquarters immediately,” said a senior CRPF officer.
The personnel are likely to face action for this now. Sources said the action falls in the category of “unauthorised leave” for which punishment could range from fines and cancellation of leaves to punishment drills for a few days. “It is a case of dereliction, but not desertion. We are in touch with them. They have said they will come back and join duty as scheduled. But strict action will taken for this action against them,” CRPF IG PK Singh said.
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