OROP stir: Section of protesting veterans to boycott Prez House function
A section of protesting ex-servicemen have decided to boycott a high tea being organised by President Pranab Mukherjee next week to felicitate the veterans of 1965 War even as they wrote to the Centre on Friday highlighting the "serious shortcomings" in its 'One Rank One Pension' scheme.
New Delhi: A section of protesting ex-servicemen have decided to boycott a high tea being organised by President Pranab Mukherjee next week to felicitate the veterans of 1965 War even as they wrote to the Centre on Friday highlighting the "serious shortcomings" in its 'One Rank One Pension' scheme.
The ex-servicemen have already boycotted all official events being organised to celebrate the golden jubilee of the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
"The government has approved OROP but with so many riders that the OROP definition has been completely destroyed and has lost all its significance.
"What is the use of soldiers attending an event being organised for their honour even when their legitimate demands have not been met," Col (Retd) Anil Kaul, Media Advisor to the United Front of Ex-Servicemen told reporters here.
He has also written a letter to all former chiefs of the three Services asking them to boycott the official functions.
In a regret letter sent by Wing Commander (Retd) Vinod Nebb to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said, "I look towards you as our Supreme Commander and leader of the armed forces to ask why are you silent? Why would you invite me to an event, which to us veterans is a symbolic of our blood, sweat and dignity and play to the government's 'show' of respect to us and our achievement".
The President's House is organising a high tea on September 22. Even though a section of veterans have boycotted, it is expected that many veterans would be attending.
Meanwhile, in a letter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, Advisor to United Front of Ex-Servicemen alleged the scheme read out by the government on September 5 has "serious shortcomings".
"If not corrected, it will not only dilute the OROP but will also destroy its approved definition," the letter said.
The protesting veterans are insisting on pension revision every year instead of government's five years.
The veterans are also demanding that all those who have taken premature retirement must come under OROP.
The agitating veterans have also objected to the government taking the calendar year 2013 instead of financial year 2013-14 for fixing the base.
"The Defence Minister had earlier assured us that the pensions would be taken from the top of the pay scales, but now the government seems to have gone to an unknown concept," Satbir said.
The ex-servicemen are also opposed to the formation of a one-man judicial commission and demand that it should be composed of three ex-servicemen, one serving officer and a bureaucrat.
Also, the deadline for the commission to come out with a report on the implementation of the OROP should be one month instead of six months as proposed by the government.
The protesting veterans have also demanded that the OROP should be independent of the Central Pay Commission and the concept should be in perpetuity.