Anna Hazare to go on indefinite strike at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan over Land Acquisition, OROP issue


Noted civil rights activist and ex-armyman Anna Hazare has announced that he will go on an indefinite strike in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on October 2 over the controversial Land Acquisition Bill and One Rank One Pension issue.

Hazare had earlier on Wednesday met former defence officials at his native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra to discuss ways in which the OROP issue could be taken up with the government.

Colonel Dinesh Nain (retd) and Brigadier Kartar Singh (retd) were among those who participated in the event, Hazare’s aide Datta Awari said.

While saying that the army jawans deserve to lead a dignified life, Hazare had recently said that the BJP-government at the Centre had paid much heed to passing of the controversial Land Acquisition Bill whereas the OROP issue had been put aside. The anti-corruption crusader had also written a letter to the PM asking him to implement the OROP scheme at the earliest, failing which he would launch a countrywide agitation demanding the same.

As per the current law, pensioners who retired before 2006 draw less pension than their counterparts and even their juniors. Under OROP, someone who retired in 1996 will get the same pension as someone who retired in 2006.

Retired soldiers have been on a relay hunger strike for over a month demanding that the OROP is implemented without further delay.

“The current government, during the elections had said that they will implement One Rank, One Pension, but it has been more than an year, they have not done it. They have so much interest in Land Acquisition Bill, but why are they not showing similar kind of interest in OROP,” Hazare had said.

“Jawans in the Army face a lot of difficulties. Whether is it desert of Rajasthan or the freezing conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, they serve the nation. They deserve to lead an honourable life after retirement. People who dedicate their lives to the nation should get the chance to spend their lives with dignity,” he added.