OROP protest continues for 77th day

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) The protest by ex-servicemen demanding implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) continued for the 77th day on Sunday, as 10 veterans continued their indefinite fast — four of them in hospital.

Col. Pushpender Singh (retd), Hav. Ashok Chauhan (retd), Maj. Piar Chand Rana (retd) and Hav. Sahib Singh (retd) continued their indefinite fast in hospital where they were moved after their health deteriorated.

Hav. Major Singh (retd) is still at the Jantar Mantar protest site despite his deteriorating condition.

Also on an indefinite fast at the Jantar Mantar are Naik Udai Singh Rawat, Sawal Ram Yadav, father of martyr Lance Naik Sunil Kumar Yadav, Cdr. A.K. Sharma, Subedar Vijay Singh Yadav and Subedar Keshaw Singh, all retired soldiers.

An official statement from the ex-servicemen said N.K. Bal Singh, who was on relay hunger strike, was evacuated following medical complications. He was now in a stable condition.

On Saturday, the ex-servicemen wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, saying some veterans were developing medical complications due to their indefinite hunger strike for two weeks, and the government will be responsible for any untoward incident.

A few points of contention remain between the government and the veterans, one of which is that the government wants 2011 to be the base year, while the veterans say it should be at the 2014 level, along with a 3 percent increment every year, which the government is not agreeing to.

Besides, the government wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014.

If the date of implementation is 2014, the government will have to pay arrear of over Rs.12,000 crore.

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