Upset by the collapse of talks with the government, retired military officials have decided to boycott the 50th anniversary celebrations of the 1965 war with Pakistan. Talks between the veterans and the government on the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP), ended inconclusively on August 27, when a group of military personnel walked out of the meeting.
The government’s celebration started on August 28 with the President, Pranab Mukherjee, the supreme commander of the armed force, paying a tribute to fallen soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial site at India Gate.
The veterans have decided to gather at Jantar Mantar in order to publicly boycott the official function because the government has not yet implemented OROP.
During the talks, the veterans made it clear they will not be accepting the government’s proposal to increase pensions every five years. The government on the other hand refused to buckle under pressure from the veterans. The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made it clear the Prime Minister will make the announcement when he deems fit.
Ex-servicemen during their protest over the delay in implementation of One Rank, One Pension at Jantar Mantar | Source: PTI
The talks were heading toward a closure with most of the decisions having been taken. The only form of contention was whether pension hikes are to be effected on a yearly basis or every five years. The government wanted every five years, but the veterans were adamant about a yearly pension increase.
The veterans have now been protesting for over 75 days, with many sitting on an indefinite hunger strike. Four of these retired servicemen have been hospitalised because of the hunger strike.
Feature image source: PTI