Army veterans’ attempt to burn their medals to protest the “diluted” ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) scheme showed that they were emotionally surcharged, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement general secretary Group Capt V.K. Gandhi (retd) said here on Thursday.
“It totally shows the veterans were emotionally very very surcharged. The government has neglected their welfare for the last 60 years,” he told IANS.
On Wednesday, he said the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office refused to accept the medals returned by the veterans. “They felt insulted and it was a spontaneous action to lodge their protests,” he added.
Gandhi said the central government’s move to issue notification on the OROP scheme as well as forming a committee to look into anomalies was aimed at “stopping the veterans from going to court”.
“The government has issued a notification. It knew the OROP would not be accepted by the veterans and so along with the notification, a commission was also formed. It was to stop us from going to court,” he said.
Gandhi clarified that until the judicial committee submits it report, the veterans could not go to court. This, he said, was a “delaying tactic”.
On November 7, the government issued the notification regarding implementation of the OROP scheme for defence personnel. It also announced forming a judicial committee, which would submit its report in six months, to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of the scheme.
“We know how it works in India. The submission period will increase to one year to one and a half year and so on,” he said.