Ex-servicemen Sikhs and non-Sikhs joined hands across the country began an indefinite relay hunger strike today, demanding that the government announce a date for the introduction of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ policy.
Seeking their “promised dues”, ex-servicemen across the country on Monday began their relay- hunger strike demanding that the government announce a date for the introduction of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ policy.
In the national capital, a group of 55 ex-servicemen from Jalandhar district sat on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, where hundreds of retired defence personnel had on Monday held a protest and sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention on their behalf.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has given an assurance that the “promises” made would be kept and the retired servicemen should be “patient”.
“The hunger strike has begun today in various cities. This will go on indefinitely till our dues are cleared,” said Col. (retd) Anil Kaul, media Advisor to Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM). The Modi government has said that it is committed to OROP, introducing which was one of its key poll promises. But it has been unable to implement it till now.
Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.