Varanasi/Kolkata: As many as nine soldiers of Border Security Force (BSF) went missing while travelling to Jammu & Kashmir from West Bengal in a special train but were later traced back to their homes.
An FIR was lodged with government railway police (GRP) at Mughalsarai station on Wednesday.
The train, with 83 soldiers on board, was heading to Samba from Kolkata.
GRP inspector Rajesh Kumar told TOI that some soldiers left the train at Bardhaman railway station, while others stepped down at Dhanbad. They had left without informing their commander.
However, BSF top brass is not treating the nine jawans as deserters.
According to a senior official of South Bengal Frontier in Kolkata, the missing jawans from the 83rd Battalion have been contacted at their homes in Bihar and Jharkhand.
“They have said they are returning to their unit. We informed GRP as per norms but this was no cognizable offence. They are not deserters. We are treating them as being absent without leave. We will take necessary disciplinary action, but it won’t be too harsh,” the official said.
When asked how personnel from a force could behave in this manner, the official said: “They are youngsters and were being deployed for the first time. There may have been homesickness, particularly as they were being posted to Jammu & Kashmir. As the train was close to their homes in Jharkhand and Bihar, they may have had the urge to visit family. They had no intentions to flee.”
The missing jawans were detected during a count at Mughalsarai station. (ToI)