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Outgoing BSF chief cancels farewell parade, visits due to security situation

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Outgoing BSF chief Rajni Kant Mishra has cancelled his farewell parade in Delhi and thanksgiving events across the country due to a security alert in view of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Thursday.
A farewell dinner to be hosted for him by the Border Security Force (BSF) at its headquarters here on August 31 has also been postponed after a controversial order directing deployment of cadre officers for "service of drinks" to guests was uploaded on social media.
Mishra, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, took over as the director general of the 2.5 lakh-strong force in October last year. He will be succeeded by a batchmate from Madhya Pradesh cadre, V K Johri.
Mishra will handover the baton to Johri at the BSF headquarters at the CGO complex on Lodhi Road on Saturday.
As per tradition, an outgoing BSF director general (DG) is accorded a farewell parade wherein troops from all the frontiers assemble in Delhi to present a ceremonial guard of honour.
The DG also travels to all frontiers of the force for thanksgiving by troops in full ceremonial regalia.
When contacted by PTI, Mishra confirmed the change of plans.
"I have made it clear about three months back that I should not be given a farewell parade and neither I would travel to frontiers for my thanksgiving," he told the news agency, adding that he had not received any invite for the farewell dinner.
"This is because for the last few months the force is heavily committed to security duties at the border and other places," Mishra said.
"As the farewell parade would require pooling of about 600 troops from across the country, I told my officers not to hold the event. The present security situation does not allow us to lower our guard and take away personnel from official duties," he added.
Security along the India-Pakistan border and other locations in the hinterland has been stepped up since the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 on August 5.
The BSF, under the command of the Union Home Ministry, is tasked with guarding the country's sensitive borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from rendering a variety of other tasks in the internal security domain.
Sources said the August 31 farewell dinner for Mishra was "postponed" after an official order issued by the Commandant (operations) at the BSF headquarters here was circulated on social media, leading to a lot of controversy.
The order tasked officers of the BSF cadre to "receive" senior officers and their wives and bring them to the venue at a force mess in Nizamuddin area here. It asked them to help in stopping "overcrowding" at the drinks bar and ensure service of drinks to senior officers and guests.
The order also asked the cadre officers to "ensure that snacks, drinks and soup" reach the guests at regular intervals.
A senior BSF officer also said this order, issued on August 20, has been cancelled and the farewell dinner for the DG "postponed".
"There should have been no controversy in the first place as this procedure is followed for farewell dinner for other retiring officers (also), irrespective of the rank. The farewell dinner for the outgoing DG will be held soon," the officer said.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 7:35 PM IST

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