Bastar, Chattisgarh: Panned by the Border Security Force after his viral videos complaining about the food served at the kitchens in the Line of Control, BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav has found support among his colleagues in the CRPF in faraway Bastar, in Chhattisgarh. The general opinion - expressed carefully on condition of anonymity - is that the jawan would not have risked his career unless he had a valid grievance. Others whisper that the food served at their canteen has improved since Mr Yadav's Facebook videos caused such a stir almost two weeks ago.
Bastar is not the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It does not involve high terrain or extreme weather that makes living here tough. The service conditions, though, are tough in this Maoist-hit area.
And it is one of the biggest areas of operation for the Central Reserve Police Force.
At the Mardung CRPF camp, around 350 km from state capital Raipur, the jawans agree that the Central government should look into their complaints. The home ministry, which has already investigated the complaints of Mr Yadav, said there was nothing to substantiate them.
"There must be some reason why they resorted to social media risking their jobs. Their problems should be looked into and resolved," one of the jawans said on condition of anonymity.
Airing grievances on social media is frowned upon by security forces. Last week, Army chief Bipin Rawat read the riot act to soldiers, after a few jawans, taking a leaf out of Tej Bahadur Yadav's book, uploaded videos of their complaints on YouTube.
Sources have said they face tough action. The BSF, which transferred Mr Yadav back to Poonch from Line of Control after his videos went viral, has said he has a "dodgy record" that features "intoxication and insubordination".
At the Mardung camp, the men said they have also been warned against venting grievances on social media. They have been advised to tell their seniors about it instead. "But what do we do if we have a problem with our seniors? We should also have the right to express ourselves," a jawan said.
The camp kitchen held a clue or two for their sympathy with Tej Bahadur Yadav. For lunch, the men had been served chapati, rice, dal, vegetable curry and salad. But one of the jawans said, 'The food we get is good but there is scope of improvement. Its quality should be improved".
The CRPF commandant claims the men get quality food. "Not only now, but since the day I joined the force, I have been ensuring that the menu is prepared by doctors and prepared and given to the jawans accordingly. In my opinion giving much importance to food of the force may lead to operational lapse," said RD Jeanyanal, the Commandant of the 80 Batallion.