OROP: One more veteran joins fast unto death

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Even as the government on Tuesday assured the agitating ex-servicemen on the One Rank One Pension issue, another military veteran joined the fast unto death at the Jantar Mantar here.

Ashok Chauhan, a retired Indian Army havildar, joined the indefinite fast along with Col. Pushpender Singh (retd) and Major Singh, another retired havildar, who began the indefinite fast on Monday.

As the protest by ex-servicement continued for the 65th day, Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Officer, contacted the protesters on Tuesday and once again assured them that the government was committed to implementing the OROP.

The defence force veterans, holding a relay hunger strike since June 15, resorted to fast unto death after Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make an announcement on the issue in his Independence Day speech on Saturday.

The protesters were aggrieved over police attempts to forcibly evict them from the protest site on Friday, a day ahead of the Independence Day.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met a group of veterans and urged them to suspend the indefinite fast till August 24, saying he would be meeting the prime minister on August 23. The ex-servicemen, however, did not agree.

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