Veterans try to burn medals, Modi says issue is 'resolved'
New Delhi: High drama ensued yesterday at Jantar Mantar in Delhi where two veterans tried to burn their medals in protest against the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme announced by the government.
Amid slogans against the government, the two veterans, who had also sat on a hunger strike, tried to burn their medals before the camera glare. However, others stopped them, with Maj Gen Satbir Singh, (Retd) asking them not to burn the medals.
While officially, the protesting veterans had denied that that they will be burning medals today, the media was tipped off in the morning itself. Later, the veterans, numbering around 50, marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan in protest but were stopped by the Delhi Police at Rail Bhavan.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the issue of One-Rank, One Pension (OROP) has been "resolved" and sought to assuage protesting military veterans against "diluted" notification saying any issue relating to it can be taken up with the judicial committee set up by government to make it “fool-proof.”
Several war veterans have returned their medals as part of their protest against “diluted” OROP, he said. “The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved and it has been granted,” an official release said.
The developments came a day after some ex-servicemen returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said he was pained to see the medals being returned.
“Medals are given by the country for the service and gallantry acts that the soldiers have rendered. A section insisting on returning the medals because one is not happy with certain clauses of OROP, for which the government is paying over Rs 8,000 crore, is demeaning the medal itself,” Parrikar had said.