The protest over One Rank One Pension (OROP) has continued for the 105th day on Sunday, with around 50 ex-servicemen observing relay hunger strike.
The veterans were supported on Sunday by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member and actor Gul Panag, who appealed to the government to “unconditionally” fulfil OROP promises the way soldiers serve the nation.
“Armed forces personnel never retire… Even if you take premature retirement, you do so after completing your pensionable services and that is also because the country wants to keep their army, navy and air force young,” Panag said at Jantar Mantar.
“But you can be recalled anytime for five years and even when you apply for VRS (voluntary retirement scheme), whether or not you get it now or after four years is not in your hands,” she said.
On Sunday, the veterans organised a rally in Dehradun.
According to the ex-servicemen, the OROP given by government is flawed as it is “One Rank Five Pensions” instead of being One Rank One Pension.
The veterans are now demanding that government should remove the anomalies in the OROP scheme that has been announced.
The OROP scheme announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will take 2013 as the base year to calculate pensions and the date of implementation will be July 1, 2014.
The period for review is five years, a major point of difference between the government and the ex-servicemen.
The veterans say this will make it ‘one rank five pension’ and differences will pile up every year.
Another major point of contention was the government’s decision to keep those who take voluntary retirement out of the ambit of the scheme. However, both the defence minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi later assured that people opting for premature retirement will not be left out of the scheme.