The impasse between the government and the All-India Federation of Military Veterans Organisation seems all set to continue over an indefinite length of time.
We are not asking for anything new. Our agitation has been on for 25 years. This is not just a matter of money,it is about giving us equality and justice, said Lieutenant General (Retd) Raj Kadyan,chairman of the organisation while addressing mediapersons in the Capital on Thursday. After returning approximately 7,500 medals of 1,500 ex-servicemen to President Pratibha Patel on March 14,the organisation seems in no mood to relent. They now plan to meet the President on April 12 to return another set of bravery medals in the hope that things might change. We are determined to keep our protest peaceful and within the law. The nation needs to know how its former soldiers are treated, said Major General (Retd) P K Renjen,who added that over 311 registered ex-servicemens organisations across the country are prepared to join in the struggle.
The demands of the ex-servicemen have been same over the years: equal pension for those holding the same rank and an equal number of years of service to the forces. At present,the pension is decided on the basis of the retirement date of each soldier based upon the current Pay Commissions recommendations. This creates a disparity,which is not fair to those who have served the nation selflessly. An average officer retires at the age of 42,but there are hardly any re-employment opportunities for us, added Kadyan.