Veterans returning medals insulting nation: Parrikar

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said the government had kept its promise on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme and veterans burning or returning their medals were insulting the nation.

“OROP is a part of service condition. Medals are recognition by the nation of the sacrifices by the armed forces. Burning them or returning them is (an) insult to the nation and the defence forces. I don’t appreciate it,” he told a press conference here.

Parrikar said that if the protesting veterans had any pending issues regarding the OROP notification, they could go to the Judicial Commission being set up as part of the scheme.

“OROP was an election promise of the BJP and I feel the promise has been fulfilled,” he said.

The minister said OROP and medals were two separate issues and must not be mixed up.

Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement general secretary V.K. Gandhi had said on Thursday that the veterans’ attempt to burn their medals to protest the “diluted” OROP scheme showed that they were emotionally charged.

“It shows the veterans were emotionally very, very surcharged. The government has neglected their welfare for the last 60 years,” Gandhi told IANS.

On November 7, the government issued the notification regarding implementation of the OROP scheme.

It also announced a Judicial Committee, which would submit its report in six months, to look into anomalies arising out of its implementation.

 

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