Ex-servicemen might boycott July 4 commemoration of 1965 victory

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 10:35 IST

Ex-servicemen organisations might boycott the July 4 function of the Western Command to commemorate India's victory in the 1965 war with Pakistan in order to press for their demand of one rank, one pension.

Earlier, emails were sent to media organisations claiming that Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) would boycott the Western Command function. Brigadier Harwant Singh (retd), who represents the region in the body, however, said: "We are finding out whether this function is being organised by the government or the Army. If it is organised by the government, we will definitely boycott it."

Lieutenant Colonel SS Sohi (retd), president, Ex-servicemen Grievance Cell, SAS Nagar, said: "We should not boycott Army functions. We have decided to boycott only government functions. Many of us participated in the 1965 war."

Lieutenant General Balbir Singh Yadav, president of the Indian Ex-servicemen League and member of the advisory council of the umbrella organisation All-India United Front of Ex-servicemen, said no decision had been taken on boycotting any Army function.

On June 11, ex-servicemen organisations had announced to boycott all government functions, including the Independence Day and the next year's Republic Day celebrations. Ex-servicemen have already started boycotting government functions. One such boycott was held in Pune recently, where highly decorated gallantry awardees Wing Commanders SD Karnik and KV Bopardikar refused felicitations by the defence minister last month.

A relay hunger strike, supported by 32 ex-servicemen organisations, is also going on at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in support of the long-pending demand for one rank, one pension (OROP). The protest was triggered due to government's failure to implement OROP despite repeated promises and assurances given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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