New Delhi: Col. Pushpender Singh (retd), one of the three ex-servicemen on a fast-unto-death here over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, was on Monday rushed to hospital after his health deteriorated on the ninth day of the fast.
United Ex-Servicemen Front spokesman Col. Anil Kaul (retd) told IANS that the veteran was taken to the Army Research and Referral Hospital in south Delhi and was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
Col. Singh, before leaving the protest venue, said he will continue his hunger strike in hospital as well.
"I will continue the fast in hospital. The government must implement OROP immediately," he said as he was taken to hospital in a car.
Retired Havildar Sahib Singh, meanwhile, replaced Col. Singh.
The health of the other two veterans, Major Singh and Ashok Kumar Chauhan, both retired havildars, was fine, Col. Kaul added.
The spokesperson said police and the administration tried to take the veteran to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, but the ex-servicemen did not agree.
"The administration and police tried to hijack the ambulance to take him to RML hospital. We refused and took him by a private car to R&R," Col. Kaul said.
"We have requested the army chief (General Dalbir Singh) to ensure proper treatment," he added.
Monday was the 71st day of the agitation for OROP.
Ex-servicemen are demanding there should be no change in the definition of OROP, the date of implementation should remain as April 1, 2014, and the base year must remain 2013-14.
That means all past pensioners would be brought at par with pension as existing on March 31, 2014.There are around 24 lakh retired servicemen in India and around 6.5 lakh widows who will benefit if OROP is implemented.