10 former service chiefs from all three defence services have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning the police action against the protesting army veterans and demanding urgent actions against the guilty.
They include seven former army chiefs (Gen VN Sharma, General Shankar Roy Chowdhury, Gen S Padmanabhan, Gen NC Vij, Gen JJ Singh, Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen Bikram Singh), one naval chief (Admiral Madhvendera Singh) and two air chiefs (Air Chief Marshal NC Suri and Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi).
In their two-page letter, these service chiefs wrote, “The indiscretion on the part of the police has seriously impacted the pride and morale of all ranks of three services and Veterans. It is pertinent to mention that these veterans are the same soldiers, who have displayed unflinching loyalty towards the Constitution and the Nation during their service and still remain motivated to die for the noble cause. Unfortunately, their dignity and pride today stand scarred and is a cause for serious concern.”
The chiefs clarified that the reason why they didn’t choose to write before was because they expected the prime minister to make the the announcement on the implementation of OROP during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort. But, the ‘high-handedness of police’ on 14 August prompted them to write to Modi.
They said that the technical difficulties being cited for the delay by the government is ‘bewildering.’
The letter said, ” The often quoted technical difficulties without being specified and discussed are thus bewildering. This is a simple arithmetic based on the Standard Pension Tables of the government. These delays are construed to be only with a view to bring changes in the parameters and dilute the entitlements, which will be grossly unjust and unacceptable.”
The letter ended with a chilling reminder that ‘damaging the pride of the veterans and lowering the morale of the armed forces’ will have serious consequences on the nation and India as a nation ‘can ill afford such an imbroglio.’