Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Parrikar joins ex-servicemen indefinite strike for OROP

The striking ex-servicemen have already forwarded a memorandum to Parrikar asking for OROP.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with ex-army veterans here on Wednesday began a indefinite relay strike demanding implementation of the 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP).

Several ex-army men including war veterans under the banner of All Goa Ex-Service Men Welfare Association (AGEWA) said that they will continue with the stir till their demands are met.

'One Rank One Pension' basically means that retired soldiers of the same rank, who have retired after serving for the same length of service, will receive the same pension, irrespective of the date/year of their retirement.

"The person who retires now gets four times more pension than those who had superannuated with me. This is gross injustice," said Surjit Singh, ex-master chief Indian Navy, who had participated in 1971 Bangladesh war.

Singh said that when he joined the service, they were told that their pension would be 70 per cent, but when he retired in the year 1986 he came to know that the pension was only fifty per cent.

"The families of those who die on the border get pension almost 50 per cent to that of ours. This imparity should be removed," he said.

The striking ex-servicemen have already forwarded a memorandum to Parrikar asking for OROP.

Captain Dattaram Sawant, President, OROP, said, "Indian armed forces are best known for their valour, discipline and impeccable integrity. The veterans after their retirement remain as dedicated as they were during service, except that they not carry arms and have always been against any protest or agitation."

"Unfortunately for the first time in the history of Independent India, ex-servicemen are on relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi for their legitimate demand of OROP which has been promised by the government," he added

However, Captain Sawant said that the government should not betray the soldiers because the nation cannot afford to do so. Moreover, the credibility of government and the Prime Minister is at stake.


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