Ex-servicemen call off fast as stir enters day 88
Ex-servicemen, who have been protesting for One Rank, One Pension (OROP) for the past 88 days, on Sunday said that they would call off their hunger strike, but continue their agitation till the government accepts all their demands.
The hunger strike ended on a positive note with ex servicemen expressing hope that the Centre would work on OROP, which is their right. Jantar Mantar, which has hosted several protests, was a witness to smiling faces and relieved families of retired Armymen. The crowd raised slogans of “vande matram” and distributed food among the 14 ex-Armymen, who had been fasting unto death.
Hawaldaar Ashok Chauhan said: “I have worked for the past 19 years and retired in March 2004. I hope that my pension increases under the scheme. We welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance and hope that our efforts will not be ignored.”
Retired Wing Commander Dhawan shared similar sentiments with Millennium Post. He said: “We are happy with the Prime Minister's announcement about OROP. However, we want a written statement from the Ministry of Defence.” On being asked how much will the ex-serviceman be paid after the implementation if the scheme, he said: “It entirely depends on the document, which we will receive from the government.”
Empty chairs and laughter enveloped the protest site as Army officials congratulated each other. Subedar Harcharan Lal, who has served the Army for 26 years, is a relieved man.
However, there were some who were not happy with the government's decision to revise the pension after a period of five years.