OROP protest continues, more rallies planned

New Delhi: Protest over ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme for ex-servicemen continued for the 95th day on Thursday, and army veterans planned more rallies across the country.

Rallies will be held in places like Ambala, Pathankot, Kathua, Jammu and also poll-bound Patna, a spokesperson with a army veteran’s group said.

The veterans are also planning programmes to honour war veterans among them and war widows of 1965 India-Pakistan war.

On Thursday, 22 people sat on relay hunger strike here.

Meanwhile, advertisements were also seen in leading newspapers, inviting people to come to Jantar Mantar and support the veterans.

As the government announced a scheme for providing OROP, army veterans said the scheme would not provide One Rank, One Pension as it has several discrepancies.

The veterans want the base year for the OROP to be financial year 2013-14, in place of 2013 announced by the central government.

They want date of implementation to be April 2014, instead of July 2014 as announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

While veterans want rationalisation of pensions every year, the government has provided for review only every five years.

Veterans also want the one-man judicial commission to be replaced with a five-member committee with their representation.

Another issue is fixation of pension as per the highest pension for the rank, against the government’s announcement of it being average of highest and lowest pensions, with protection to those with higher pension.