New Delhi, Apr 7: In a worrying trend, country's largest border guarding force BSF has lost four times more troops in off-duty bike accidents than at the borders or other conflict theatres in the hinterland in the recent past.
The death of 42 jawans in the last one year (2014-March 2015) in motorbike accidents as compared to 12 personnel killed in action during the same time period in the Border Security Force (BSF) has made the top brass of the paramilitary sit up and take steps to clamp down on these instances.
"We are losing about 5 jawans per month in bike accidents. These accidents are majorly happening when these men are off-duty or when they go home on leave. Those getting killed in such incidents are in the prime of their lives, about 45-50 years of age."
"Our personnel are our biggest asset and we cannot let this happen. Deaths due to motorbike accidents is a big concern for us and we are taking immediate remedial steps," BSF Director General D K Pathak told PTI.
He added the force has made some prompt interventions in this regard which includes keeping an eye on rash drivers in the paramilitary and starting a programme to initiate safe driving.
All the supervisory officers, in the field formations and headquarters, have been asked to keep a check on their drivers and those found driving recklessly are being pulled out and taken to task.
"We are weeding out the bad drivers. A disciplined force like BSF, which has onerous security tasks on its shoulders, cannot lose its men in such freak accidents," Pathak said.
The DG said the force headquarters has initiated a new programme to initiate safe driving and good road discipline skills in its men and women in uniform.
"The course will be run at all the sector and frontiers of the BSF. We are trying to make them understand that life is too precious to be lost in such misadventures," Pathak, who has chaired half-a-dozen meetings with his force commanders in this regard in the recent times, said.
They are trained to fight for the country and in this pursuit our men have also laid down their lives. But these (bike accidents) incidents are totally unacceptable to us," he added.