Hazare demands ‘One Rank One Pension’

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday voiced his support to ex-servicemen protesting in the capital over non-implementation of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme.

“Assurances from the government are not enough. We need implementation of the scheme,” Hazare, an ex-serviceman himself, said at the ‘Run for OROP’ event here, organised by retired soldiers.

He also slammed the Narendra Modi government, saying many promises were made on ending corruption but nothing has happened.

“Veterans serve the country but do not get their due,” he said.

Hazare reiterated that he will launch a protest at Ramlila Maidan here on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, in support of the OROP scheme.

“We still have two months left. I will travel across the country to seek people’s support,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday also expressed hope that the central government will soon implement the OROP scheme. In a tweet in Hindi, he also paid tributes to soldiers who died in the 1999 Kargil conflict.

The ‘Run for OROP’ started from Dhaula Kuan in south Delhi at 6 a.m. and ended at the Jantar Mantar monument in the heart of the capital.

Major D.P. Singh (retd), who had to have his leg amputated after being injured in the Kargil conflict, led the event.

The ex-servicemen want the government to announce a date when the OROP will be implemented.

Currently, the amount of pension paid to ex-servicemen of the same rank differs — depending on when they retired.

A section of the former soldiers has been staging a relay hunger strike on the issue here since June 15.

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