Hazare to go on indefinite hunger strike over land bill, OROP issue

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 11:50 IST

Social activist Anna Hazare has decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike at the Ramlila ground in Delhi from October 2 over the land acquisition bill and the 'one rank one pension' issue.

Hazare met former defence officials at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district on Wednesday and discussed ways in which the OROP issue could be taken up with the government.

Hazare recently said the BJP-led government at the Centre had not shown as much interest towards the implementation of the OROP scheme as it had shown towards the passing of the land acquisition bill, adding the retired jawans deserved to lead a dignified life.

"The current government, during the elections had said that they will implement One Rank, One Pension, but it has been more than a year, they have not done it. They have so much interest in land acquisition bill, but why are they not showing similar kind of interest in OROP," Hazare had said.

The OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of ex-servicemen's associations and relates to payment of uniform pension to defence forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

"Jawans in the Army face a lot of difficulties. Whether is it desert of Rajasthan or the freezing conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, they serve the nation. They deserve to lead an honourable life after retirement. People who dedicate their lives to the nation should get the chance to spend their lives with dignity," he added.

Hazare had protested against the controversial land acquisition ordinance earlier in February, saying the Narendra Modi-led government was acting as a property dealer for corporates. He had accused the Modi government of being indifferent towards farmers.

He had hinted at a bigger agitation at the Ramlila ground during the February protest.

Hazare had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to implement the OROP scheme at the earliest, failing which, he would launch a countrywide agitation for the same.

(With PTI inputs)

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