A group of ex-servicemen demanding ‘One Rank One Pension’ today resisted eviction from the protest site at Jantar Mantar here by Delhi Police and NDMC which were trying to clear the area in view of security concerns ahead of Independence Day.
The move came under attack from the veterans who termed it as a “Black Independence Day”. As police and NDMC started clearing the protest hotspot, the ex-servicemen refused to go away and alleged that cops manhandled those protesting quietly.
16:20 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar held a press conference to address the issue where he said that Congress was behaving like a spoilt child.
“Congress is behaving like a spoilt child who shouts when a toy is snatched away from him. On One Rank One Pension, the assurances given by the government will be fulfilled. There are technical difficulties,” he said.
15:20 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
Government today sent out a clear message to the Delhi police that the ex-servicemen protesting for the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) at Jantar Mantar here should not be evicted.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju called up Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi ordering him that these defence veterans should not be removed from the protest site. “I have asked the Commissioner of Police not to remove the ex-servicemen from Jantar Mantar and let them continue the protest,” Rijiju said.
After the strong dictat, Delhi Police has also softened its stance. BS Bassi said that he has permitted the protest to continue. However he reiterated,
14:30 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
Rahul Gandhi has upped the ante by supporting One rank one Pension scheme for ex servicemen. He criticised police action and later said that PM should announce the date from when the scheme would be implemented. He said that people in the army have spent their life to protect the border and hence PM should fulfill his promise. He also took a jibe on PM saying that he should ahve thought about all the technicalities before committing on OROP.
Reportedly, Rahul Gandhi was greeted with go back chants in Jantar Mantar.
13:21 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
12:31 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
The entire matter has now taken a political colour with Congress strongly protesting police action against veterans.
Ex servicemen have decided not to vacate Jantar Mantar.
There are reports that Rahul Gandhi will visit the ex-army men in Jantar Mantar to lend his support for speedy implementation of OROP.
11:25 IST Friday, 14 August 2015
A routine exercise to sanitise Jantar Mantar ahead of Independence Day hit a roadblock on Friday, when ex servicemen protesting for implementation of OROP refused to leave. Their tents were forcefully dismantled by NDMC workers, reports NDTV. They were dragged and pushed away from the site.
According to New Delhi Municipal Corporation, every year they remove tents pitched in Jantar Mantar. The police reportedly resorted to lathicharge to forcefully evacuate the protesters. The incident created a stir as ex servicemen have been seating on a rally hunger strike demanding implementation of OROP for nearly two months. So far the back channel talks with government has yielded little result.
Later group of 25 veterans were allowed to stay on.
OROP has been a long-standing demand of the over two million ex-servicemen of India. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to the defence personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. The scheme is estimated to cost around Rs 8,600 crore initially and subsequently several crore rupees annually.
Currently, all pre 2006 (the year the 6th pay panel recommendations became effective) pensioners receive lesser pension than not only their counterparts but also their juniors.
There are reports that PM Modi may announce implementation of One Rank One Pension for armed forces in his Independence Day speech on Saturday.
With agency inputs