Free Press Journal

OROP: Veterans to continue protest 


Indian Army veterans celebrate following the government's announcement that it will accept One Rank One Pension (OROP) reforms in New Delhi on September 5, 2015. Three million Indian army veterans won a decades-long battle on September 5 to change the way their pensions are calculated, as the government bent to protesters' demands and announced it would overhaul the controversial scheme. AFP PHOTO / Chandan KHANNA

New Delhi: Agitating ex-servicemen on Saturday vowed to continue their agitation over One Rank One Pension (OROP) as they said that while the government has announced its implementation, it has failed to accept all their demands.

“We will continue with our protest as the government has not accepted all our demands,” Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd.), who has been spearheading the campaign, told the media at Jantar Mantar following Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announcing the scheme would be implemented.

“Though we welcome the implementation of the OROP, we are not fully satisfied as they have not accepted the six points demanded by the ex-servicemen,” he added.

Criticising Parrikar’s decision not to extend the benefits of OROP to personnel opting for voluntary retirement, he said the hunger strikes would be called off only if those taking premature retirement are included in the scheme.

“We can call off the hunger strikes if those taking voluntary retirements are included in OROP but our agitation will still continue till all our demands are met,” he said adding that more than 40 percent of servicemen opt for premature retirement.

Another bone of contention was the one-member equalization committee which is supposed to submit its report within six months.

Ex-servicemen began their protest here in June demanding implementation of OROP. Some have been on indefinite fast since August 17. Relay hunger strikes in solidarity are being observed in some 60 cities.