Odisha News Insight

OROP: Army Veterans hold Protest, sign Petition with Blood

Petition-BloodAgitated over the delay in implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’, ex-servicemen on Sunday launched a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and said they were “all set to meet President Pranab Mukherjee”.

Hundreds of ex-servicemen gathered here and signed a petition with their blood to be sent to the president, who is the supreme commander of the country’s armed forces. The retired servicemen also gathered 1,500 gallantry medals to be returned to the president.

“We have returned around 22,000 medals in the past, but the president refused to accept them,” Major Vijay Sharma (Retd) told IANS. Colonel U.B. Singh (Retd), a veteran of the 1971 war, said it was not a protest against the government but an expression of their views.

“We are not protesting against the government… We are just expressing our views,” he said. A delegation of 11 members — nine soldiers, one officer and a daughter of a veteran — will meet President Mukherjee.

According to the United Ex-Servicemen of India, an umbrella group formed by the ex-servicemen, the protest was held at 55-odd centres across the country.

The centres included Jammu, Jalandhar, Ambala, Thiruvananthapuram, Madurai, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Bhopal, Meerut, Chennai, Jaipur, Nagaur, Alwar and Kota, among others.

The veterans said they were also geared to go on a relay hunger strike starting Monday. With ‘One Rank One Pension’, defence personnel who retired in the past would be able to draw the same pension as officers and soldiers of the same rank retiring now.

OROP is expected to benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen and widows of defence personnel. (IANS)

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