OROP issue still explosive, say armed forces veterans

12 November 2015

The agitation of armed forces veterans over the one rank, one pay (OROP) issue is clearly far from over, with general secretary of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, Group Captain V K Gandhi, today terming the protest against the scheme announced by the government as ''a volcano getting ready to erupt''.

Commenting on the OROP protests, the Gandhi said, ''This is a volcano getting ready and it will erupt sometime, somewhere.''

The protesting military veterans on Wednesday tried to set their medals on fire, though they were stopped by the policemen on duty at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi..

Amid slogans against the government, two veterans, who had also sat on a hunger strike, tried to burn their medals before the camera glare.

However, others stopped them, with Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd) asking them not to burn the medals.

The defence veterans also held a protest march to the President's House over the OROP issue, but were stopped by the Delhi Police at Rail Bhavan.

The veterans listed seven changes made by the government, including annual equalisation, taking the 2013-14 financial year as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government.

The new scheme also says it will be reviewed once in five years and not annually.

Earlier, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the ex-servicemen protesting against the OROP notification were "misguided".

He said that while everyone had a right to make a demand in a democracy, not all demands can be fulfilled.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the OROP issue has been "resolved" and sought to assuage protesting military veterans against "diluted" notification saying any issue relating to it can be taken up with the judicial committee set up by government to make it "foolproof''.

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