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Military veterans return medals to protest OROP notification

Military veterans returned their war and other medals at various places in Haryana and Punjab on Tuesday to register their protest against the “diluted” notification of the One Rank One Pension scheme.

In Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, the veterans returned their medals to the Panchkula deputy commissioner to protest against the OROP notification issued by the central government.

There were reports of veterans returning their medals in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala in Punjab and Rohtak, Hisar and Ambala in Haryana.

The veterans said that they had rejected the OROP notified by the Narendra Modi government.

“OROP scheme was cleared by Parliament. Then why were the changes made in the scheme? Why did they put conditions?” said Former group captain VK Gandhi, general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.

“We returned 20,000 medals during 2009, 2010 and 2011. But at that time the then government had said they were working on the OROP scheme. But the present government is cheating us. They reduced the scheme to ‘One Rank Five Pension’ scheme,” Gandhi added.

The veterans have listed seven changes made by the government which include annual equalization, 2013-14 financial years as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government.

The new scheme also states that it will be reviewed once in five years and not annually.

Gandhi said the veterans demanded reconsideration on the changes made by the government in implementation of the OROP scheme.

Earlier, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said ex-servicemen protesting against the OROP notification were misguided.

He said while everyone had a right to make a demand in a democracy, not all demands can be fulfilled.

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