The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on August 24, 2010 -- is for your kind perusal.
IESM fires broadside at Cong on fake medals issue
By Abhijit C Chandra
Bhopal, Aug 24 (UNI) The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement has taken exception to the Congress ESM Welfare Cell alleging that veterans carried fake medals for depositing to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil in protest against the Centre not looking after its defence forces that have been ''pillars of strength'' for Indian democracy.
The President did not receive the delegation, which returned with the medals.
''The statement is dangerous and is sending a wrong signal to the nation. Just imagine how it would have hurt a Shaurya Chakra recipient martyr's mother who was part of the delegation. We were carrying 6,000 medals including those with which war heroes were decorated,'' IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh, Sena Medal, told UNI over telephone.
IESM Chairman Lieutenant-General (Retd) Raj Kadyan, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, led a delegation to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday to deposit the medals and submit a memorandum signed in blood.
In a letter to the President, the veteran said, ''it is earnestly hoped that the Supreme Commander would relent and receive the delegation in person. However, should that unfortunately not happen... the delegation would return without depositing the medals and the memorandum.''
''The Cell also alleged that fake blood was utilised to ink the memorandum while the truth is I was among the first to donate and a prestigious laboratory's employees were also present on the scene to supervise the blood donation. I beseech the collective conscience of the nation not to berate the services,'' Maj-Gen Singh appealed.
The recent judgements of the Supreme Court, high courts and Armed Forces tribunals clearly reveal the ''grave injustice, apathetic attitude and arrogance of the Government and the bureaucracy,'' Maj-Gen Singh said.
The fact that the all-party Standing Committee on Defence -- after taking into consideration the reasons given by the Centre for not accepting veterans' main demand of One Rank One Pension -- has strongly recommended grant of OROP to defence personnel holistically in its report tabled in Parliament on May 7, proves the genuineness of their demand, he added.
The collection of medals and signing of the memorandum took place
at Jantar Mantar from 1100 to 1400 hrs.