The never ending trail of protesters has given a cue to the veterans who have at large decided to give back their medal of honours. The protest has been against the government for its failure to implement the “one rank-one pension scheme.”
Assurance given by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on the subject of OROP notification, to be ordained before Diwali, has left the veterans at loggerheads with the government.
A group of personnels have been sitting at Jantar Mantar, a hub for protests, for about 144 days. Angered by the funtioning of the government, Major General Satbir Singh (retd), who headed the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement said, “The government has not honoured its commitment. We are not taking the minister’s latest statement seriously as several such assurances have been made in the past.”
The notification has yet to be issued, even though the government has accepted the 40 year-old demand. They feel that the government had accepted their demand in a diluted form.
The veterans will be observing a “black Diwali” at Jantar Mantar, said singh adding, that around 676 district ex-servicemen will return their medals on November 9 and 10.
The protest aims at recieving same pension, irrespective of the date of retirement, also the status of the soldiers for which they are fighting to get it restored. Veterans are dissapointed about prematured retirees not getting the benefit of OROP and the recalculation of pentions which is done every five years instead of anually. The implementation will require arrears in the range of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore.
The issue of contention is centered around pension revision, mode of recalculation, prematured retirees and the base year for reworking pensions.