Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Neglect Of Armed Forces

Dear Veterans,                                           Dated: 27 Nov 2012

Letter to all MPs regarding “Neglect of Armed Forces” dated 27 Nov 2012 is enclosed herewith for your information and wide circulation please.
With Warm Regards,                                                       
 Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh,SM 
Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement 

                               Dated: 27 Nov 2012
Dear Members of Parliament,                                         
1.     On 22 Nov 2012, Arvind Kejriwal of IAC highlighted the plight of NSG Commando Surender Singh who was boarded out due to being medically disabled because of injuries sustained on 26/11 during Terrorist Attack in Bombay.
2.   We wish to bring to the notice of our elected representative and through you all to the Nation’s, the plight of lakhs of soldiers and their families and widows.  All our missives to the President, PM, RM, and UPA Chairperson for the last five years have evoked no response whatsoever. Even Supreme Court Judgements are being flouted and ignored with impunity.  The MoD, instead of looking after the affairs military, in just and fair manner, is putting all blocks to thwart the most legitimate demands of defence forces.  Govt actions relating to veterans affairs indicate an institutional indifference and perhaps wilful design that is both alarming and demotivating.  Consider the following:-
a.    The ridiculous situation wherein a Major General draws a pension lower than that of a Lieutenant Colonel- three ranks lower in the hierarchy.
b.   A Havildar drawing a pension less than that of a Sepoy, which is a much junior rank?
c.   A Lieutenant General drawing almost the same pension as a Colonel or a Brigadier, ranks that are junior.  
d.   While all Central Govt employees have been given three Assured Career Progressions by the 6th CPC, the same has beendenied to the “Sepoy” who is compulsorily retired after 15 – 17 years of service and the Assured Career progressions to Defence personnel are authorized after 8, 16, 24 years of service.  Is it not Gross injustice that a Sepoy is not granted the financial benefit of 3rd Career Progression before retirement to enable him to get the pension accordingly?   
e.    Non-inclusion of Defence Services in even benefits like Non Functional Upgrades (NFU), made applicable to all other Government services EXCEPT Defence Services.
f.      Widows of Defence personnel are invariably left out of accretions in Pensions announced for JCO/OR.
g.    An amazing 39 serious anomalies have arisen in the implementation of even the 6th Central Pay Commission, causing grave injustice to the Defence Personnel in their status and thus inter-se equation with other Central Services, pay and pensions.
h.   Non implementation of the ‘Rank Pay’ awarded holistically by the Fourth Pay Commission, despite a recent court order.
i.     Periodically falsely claiming grants and benefits to Defence Veterans, without them being granted. For example, a recent announcement of an increase in the pensions of defnece forces is being claimed by the Govt to be a grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP), whereas, in actual fact, it is a partial eradication of deliberate mistake in implementation of 6th CPC award.
j.      Contesting all judicial orders / rulings favoring Defence Veterans.
k.   Non-inclusion of Uniformed fraternity even in committees set up over matters directly affecting them.
3.   It seems the country does not respect the sacrifices made by a soldier who lays down his life for the country.  There is no respect for those in uniform who would not think twice before making the supreme sacrifice.  This is a very unfortunate state of affairs.  The government is bluffing the country and the unsuspecting soldiers.  The Ex servicemen across the country feel neglected, their legitimate demands ignored. 
4.  The political system has been depriving the serving defene personnel to vote at the place of posting which is their constitutional right as per the Peoples Representation Act.  The system of postal ballot and proxy voting which were meant for personnel posted abroad, has been thrusted on the defence personnel within the country.  Both these options have not worked thus denying the right to vote to soldiers.  The defence locations within the country are part of a constituency, thus the defence personnel posted within in the country are to be registered as voters as ordinary residents of that constituency. During the last assembly election in Uttrakhand, over one lac soldiers could not cast their votes due to the faulty system of Postal Ballot.  There are over 60 big cantonments and over 250 military stations in the country where defence personnel have the strength to influence the electoral process.
5.   We appeal to our members of parliament, to jointly take up the above issues with the Govt for their immediate redressal.  Shortage of 14000 officers, upward trend in cases of indiscipline, over 115 defence personnel committing suicides every year for the past 10 years, inadequacies in our defence preparedness are adversely affecting the security of the Nation.  Our country can ill afford to allow such situation to continue any further.
6.  May we request you for your immediate indulgence?  If need be, discuss and debate these issues through call attention motion or under any other parliamentary procedure.  The time is running out.
Jai Hind!!
With Warm Regards,                                                       
 Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh,SM 
Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement 

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