Monday, August 30, 2010
Candle-lit vigil by ex-servicemen
Chandigarh, August 30
Ex-servicemen from the Tri-City today held a candle-lit vigil in the Sector-17 plazza in support of their demands, including grant of “ONE RANK, ONE PENSION” (OROP). A large number of ex-servicemen and members of their families, carrying candles and placards, participated in the vigil. Ex-servicemen said instead of sincerely considering their demands, the government seemed to have further hardened its stance against the veterans. The government had not yet accepted the report of the standing committee on Defence tabled in the Lok Sabha on May 7, strongly recommending the grant of “ONE RANK, ONE PENSION” to Defence personnel. They also criticised the government for continuing to contest the court rulings that were in favour of Defence personnel, filing appeals even against the policy of the law ministry. They said the Defence community, especially veterans, were feeling angry, hurt and aggrieved. All efforts, including peaceful protests, had failed to move the government, which continued to deprive them of their legitimate dues. Ex-servicemen also raised issues like consistent downgrading of status of the armed forces personnel across the board, leaving out of widows from the recent enhancement of pension to JCOs and Jawans, no enhancements in pension to the aged and old reservists, anomalies in pension and non-implementation of court directives.