Army Veterans Sign Petition to PM Modi in Blood on One Rank One Pension

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Ex-servicemen protesting for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. (Press Trust of India photo)


New Delhi:  Retired colonel VN Thapar, father of Kargil martyr Captain Vijayant Thapar, was one of the army veterans who signed a petition soaked in blood to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy.

Over 150 other ex-servicemen -- ranging from retired general officers to junior commissioned officers -- first drew out their blood in small vials, and then put it in a pot before signing their petition to the Prime Minister.

"I have lost my son Captain Vijayant Thapar. There are many who have lost their limbs in the battlefield. It's the same blood here that lies scattered on the battlefield," said an emotional Mr Thapar at Jantar Mantar, the site of ongoing protest for the past four and half months.

On September 5, the government had announced that it was accepting One Rank One Pension proposal. But more than a month later, veterans point out, the OROP order is yet to be formally issued. There are other apprehensions too.

For example, veterans want pensions to be equalised every year or at most every two years. The Government, on the other hand, has proposed a 5 year interval for revision of pensions.

Veterans want the government to clearly say that the OROP will apply to all those who take pre-mature retirement from the forces.

Even though the government has clarified that it will be applicable to people who take voluntary retirement service or VRS, veterans aren't convinced.

Veterans also want ex-servicemen to be part of the one-man committee that will study different aspects of OROP implementation.

"We are apprehensive that the government may not implement what they have agreed to," said Major General (Retd) Satbir Singh, who has been the face of the protests so far.

The government is expected to issue the OROP orders once polling in Bihar is over. But if it fails to address the concerns raised by the veterans, once again, ex-servicemen have promised to intensify their agitation.


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