Joining the nationwide campaign for One Rank One Pension,members of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) from the city participated in a rally in New Delhi on Saturday. With signatures signed with blood and medals in their hands to be returned to the President,over 3,000 ex-servicemen reiterated their demands of One Rank One Pension (OROP),National Commission for the Armed Forces and an Independent and Exclusive Pay Commission for the Armed Forces. Over 10 members from the city had joined the campaign with a few taking part in the delegation that wanted to meet President Pratibha Patil but could not do so.
This is a serious issue and the government has not been taking due notice of the ex-servicemens demands. We now plan to intensify the movement. The ideal outcome of todays movement will be to go back to our states and build up individual rallies to generate pressure on the government, said Brigadier (retd) Sharad Luktuke,member,IESM,speaking to Newsline from Delhi. The rally that began at 10.15 am at Jantar Mantar concluded around 3 pm.
A press release issued by IESM said,The Defence veterans,their families and supporters have now resolved to intensify their protest movement across the country to highlight the grave injustice which the Centre is doing to them by not accepting their genuine demands in total disregard to the services rendered by the erstwhile soldiers. The graver injustice has been done to Defence widows,who are in receipt of family pension,by excluding them from the ambit of enhancement of pensions of JCOs and Other Ranks carried out in Mar 2010.
Commander (retd) Ravindra Pathak,convenor,IESM,Maharashtra,said,Last month,we had met Anna Hazare and apprised him about the demands regarding OROP. We might soon hold some sessions at Chiplun and Ralegan Siddhi. OROP demands that two military persons who retire from the same rank after equal duration of service should get the same pension.