Ex-servicemen residing in Panchkula took out a march on Tuesday to return their medals in protest against the ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP) notification issued by the Centre recently.
The veterans, under the banner of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), gathered at Shankla Chowk in Sector 2 and marched to the deputy commissioner’s office to submit their medals, to be further sent to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi.
Their memorandum to the PM read: “Unfortunately, the recently issued notification on the OROP gives nothing but a truncated deal and cannot be called OROP either in letter or spirit. The veterans have been sitting on a hunger strike for 150 days at the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, without being heard sympathetically by their government. The ex-servicemen are feeling betrayed and cheated of their just rights.”
The veterans described the medals as their most-prized possession and sign of honour for having stood guard against the enemy at the peril of their lives. “The country would find it difficult to get real soldiers if you throw them only crumbs,” said Colonel SS Kalia (retired), while reading out the memorandum.
Points of contention
IESM convener Brigadier Kiran Krishan (retired), said: “The notification has been issued, but with a lot of ifs and buts. First of all, the pay should be revised every year instead of five years. We want to get the OROP implemented from April 1, 2014, but they are implementing it from July 1, 2014, that also at the rates of 2013.”
Brig Krishan said the notification had also debarred personnel retiring prematurely from the benefits under the OROP.