Despite the historic implementation of the OROP scheme, the veteran community has rejected this form of the OROP and is uniting to take the agitation forward for an anomaly-free OROP

NEW DELHI – On September 12, in an attempt to show that their agitation for One Rank One Pension (OROP) was going nowhere, ex-servicemen in India came together in large numbers for a show of strength for the cause, despite several cracks in the movement.

New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar was flooded by thousands of war veterans and their families in one mega rally,  a sign that India’s veterans are strongly committed to carry on their struggle for OROP. Veterans, who have been organising the protest at Jantar Mantar for the last 90 days, said that an approximate 15,000 to 20,000 people had gathered to show their support for the cause.

According to the veterans present, almost 200 buses filled with supporters had been stopped by the Haryana Police at the Delhi-Haryana borders at Bahadurgarh and Badarpur without any reason.

On September 4, in a historic move Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the implementation of the OROP scheme, which was subsequently rejected by the veteran community for having a number of unacceptable anomalies. While they had previously called of the hunger strike, the 50 veterans on a relay hunger strike said that they will continue their fasts as a sign of the agitation continuing.

“Though we welcome the implementation of OROP by the government, we are not fully satisfied as they have not accepted the six points demanded by the ex-servicemen,” said Major General Satbir Singh (retired), who has been spearheading the veterans’ agitation for OROP.

‘The father of the OROP movement’, wheelchair bound Colonel Inderjit Singh, who submitted the first memorandum to Indira Gandhi in 1982, severely criticised the government for the implementing a scheme that shortchanges the veterans and goes against the Parliament accepted definition of OROP.

– The Global Panorama

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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