Ex-servicemen rally in Delhi against OROP announcement

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) With the protest over ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) entering its 183rd day on Sunday, ex-servicemen gave the government three weeks’ time to resolve the issue, and warned of stringent steps after that.

“We have given the government two weeks, after that we will give one week’s notice. This disciplined agitation will change if the government does not listen to us,” spokesperson of the Indian Ex-Servicemen (IESM) movement Col. Anil Kaul (retd) told IANS at a rally at Jantar Mantar here.

He said the step was taken following a demand in this regard by ex-servicemen from across the country.

The veteran also said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that most former soldiers were happy with the schemes has angered more ex-servicemen.

A member of the IESM told IANS that they had almost agreed to tone down the movement, but Jaitley’s statement irked several members.

Ex-servicemen from across the country on Sunday held a ‘Sainik Akrosh’ rally here to protest the government notification on OROP.

The member also said a half-page advertisement that the veterans had given in a leading newspaper was stopped after the government’s intervention.

The protesting ex-servicemen, who have been agitating at Jantar Mantar for the last 183 days, claim that the OROP scheme announced by the government was different from its original definition that was agreed upon between the two sides.

“There is no demand… the (OROP) scheme that parliament approved and the notification issued are different,” said Major General Satbir Singh (retd), who is spearheading the ex-servicemen’s agitation.

“There are seven major mistakes. They (government) are telling the nation they have given OROP but they have actually finished it,” he said.

Singh also slammed Jaitley for his alleged statement that more ex-servicemen were satisfied with the OROP scheme announced by the government.

“We are sad (that) Jaitley said most veterans have agreed to the scheme… it is a lie… look at the number of people who have come,” he said.

The IESM said around 10,000 people participated in the rally.

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