OROP protest intensifies; families join veterans

RSTV Bureau

OROP-latest-2The protest of ex-servicemen who are protesting over the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) since last two months at Jantar Mantar intensified on Sunday when many relatives of war veteran and Ex-Servicemen joined the protest including the daughter of former Army Chief and Union minister Gen. V.K Singh.

Retired defence personnel and war widows continues their protest for the immediate implementation of One Rank One Pension after failing to get any assurance from the Centre till date.

Stepping up agitation on ‘One Rank One Pension’, a fast-unto-death was also launched by three of the protesting ex-servicemen Col Pushpender Singh (Retd) and Haviladar Major Singh (Retd)began their fast on (Monday) August 17 and were joined by Havaldar (retired) on Tuesday and they are still on fast-unto death.

Voicing disappointment over inability of political leadership to implement ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme, ten former Service Chiefs  written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the issue should be resolved expeditiously within a time frame.

Four former service chiefs have also recently wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, the supreme commander of the armed forces, asking him to “urgently intervene” in the OROP row.

After joining the protest Daughter of (Retd) Gen V K Singh ex-servicemen’s agitation expressed her support to the demand on the long-pending ‘One Rank One Pension (OROP)’ and suggested that her father, the former Army Chief, should also do so.

Mrinalini Singh, wife of a serving Army officer, joined the protest at Jantar Mantar on Sunday morning.

Asked if her father, Minister of State for External Affairs Singh, had approved of her joining the protest since he is serving in the government, she said, “I have not sought his permission and neither do I need his permission.”

She said she had come straight from Hisar in Haryana “because I feel for the cause. A few years down the line, I will also become the wife of an ex-serviceman.”

Asked whether her father should also join the protest, she said, “I am going to meet him. I will definitely ask him to come and join the protest.”
Ex-servicemen and their kin have been protesting for the implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme for the last over two months and are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week to press for early implementation of their demand.