Ex-Servicemen Protest, Call It 'Black Independence Day' After Prime Minister Modi Fails To Announce OROP Time Frame

15/08/2015 11:02 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
A former Sikh army soldier wears a headband around his turban during a protest in New Delhi, India, Sunday, July 26, 2015. The former soldiers are protesting against the delay in implementing the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme by the Indian government. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort didn't seem to impress the ex servicemen.

Ex-servicemen protested in the heart of the national capital on Saturday, shouting "shame, shame" after the Prime Minister failed to announce a time frame for the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme in his Independence Day speech.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister once again failed to give a timeline for the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

Addressing the nation on the occasion of Independence Day, Modi said, "The issue of 'One Rank One Pension' has come up in front of every government. Some even made small promises but the issue could not be solved."

"I assure you that we have accepted One Rank-One Pension. We are now discussing how to implement it," he said.

READ: PM Modi's Speech On 69th Independence Day

However, veterans rejected the Prime Minister's assurance terming it a "Black Independence Day" for ex-servicemen of the country.

Dozens of retired soldiers rose from their seats near the Jantar Mantar monument and started shouting slogans.

"This is not about hope, this is our right. This is injustice, it has already been 17 months, what is stopping the government," asked Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh. He said that the bureaucracy is the main obstacle in the implementation of OROP.

Singh said they will intensify their agitation.

Some of the ex-servicemen also threatened to protest till death.

The ex-servicemen have been sitting on a relay hunger strike for about two months now in Jantar Mantar.

The One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme has been a longstanding demand of nearly three million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. Retried armed forces personnel have demanded that they receive the same pension given to personnel of the same rank, who are retiring now. Presently, the amount of pension is determined by the date of retirement.

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