Veterans attempt to burn medals in Delhi
NEW DELHI: High drama ensued on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, where two veterans tried to burn their medals in protest against the one-rank one-pension (OROP) scheme announced by the government. Amid slogans against the government, the two veterans, who had also sat on a hunger strike, tried to burn their medals but were stopped by other ex-servicemen.
Later, around 50 of them took out a march from Jantar Mantar to Rashtrapati Bhavan, saying a “diluted” OROP scheme was not acceptable. Delhi police, however, stopped the march before it could reach Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“The OROP scheme was cleared by Parliament. Then why were the changes made in the scheme? Why did they put conditions?” said Group Captain VK Gandhi (Retd), general secretary of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement. Gandhi said the veterans demanded reconsideration of the changes made by the government in implementation of the OROP scheme.
The developments come a day after some ex-servicemen returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said he was pained to see the medals being returned. “Medals are given by the country for the service and gallantry acts that the soldiers have rendered. A section insisting on returning the medals because one is not happy with certain clauses of OROP, for which the government is paying over Rs8,000 crore, is demeaning the medal itself,” Parrikar had said.
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