OROP: Two army veterans on fast-unto-death

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Disappointed over the government not announcing implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme, two ex-servicemen who have been part of a two-month-long protest against the delay began a fast-unto-death here Monday.

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Col. Pushpender Singh (retd) and Major Singh, a retired havildar, began the hunger strike after Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not announce a firm date for launching the scheme in his Independence Day speech on Saturday.

The veterans’ agitation entered its 64th day on Monday. Thus far, only relay hunger strikes have been staged.

Modi said on Saturday his government had accepted the OROP scheme “in principle” and that he expected a “positive outcome” on its implementation. However, the assurance left the ex-servicemen “very disappointed”.

There are around 24 lakh retired servicemen in India and around 6.5 lakh widows who will benefit when OROP is implemented.

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