Kejriwal urges PM Modi to accept OROP demands
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday slammed the Central government for forceful eviction of the ex-servicemen of armed forces protesting for the implementation of One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) at Jantar Mantar, and demanded the Prime Minister to announce the acceptance of their demands from the rampart of the Red Fort in his Independence Day speech.
“I request the Prime Minister to announce <g data-gr-id="40">acceptance</g> of their demands and date of its implementation. They laid down their lives in protecting the country. They stood guard at the borders and now they are being seen as a threat to the security,” said Kejriwal. He later tweeted, “Ex-servicemen being forcibly thrown out of Jantar Mantar? Bizarre. They protected us till yesterday. Now they r security threat for <g data-gr-id="31"><g data-gr-id="38">indep</g></g> day?” A group of ex-servicemen demanding implementation of One-Rank-One-Pension have been protesting for the past two months.
Citing security reasons for the Independence Day, the Delhi Police and NDMC tried to evict the peaceful protesters at 8.30 am. Their tents were demolished and some were also manhandled in the process. Later in the day, after intervention from the Ministry of Home Affairs, they were allowed to continue the protest peacefully.
Mukesh Kumar Meena, Joint CP, New Delhi, visited the site and said, “Keeping in view the terror threats and latest inputs, it was a security drive conducted by NDMC”. Colonel Rajeev Kakra, an ex-serviceman said: “Today (Friday) is the 61st day of our hunger strike. The government must take action on the implementation of OROP. We are a disciplined force and protesting peacefully.”
On Friday <g data-gr-id="41">morning</g> Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited Jantar Mantar to extend his support to the protesting ex-servicemen on which Vinod <g data-gr-id="32">Nebb</g>, former Wing Commander, IAF said: “The previous government has already done the damage. Instead of coming out in support after so many days, he should raise the issue at an appropriate platform.”
Meanwhile, a section of the agitating ex-servicemen accused the police of a barbaric crackdown on their demonstration a day ahead of Independence Day, questioning how soldiers who dedicate their lives protecting the country can become a security threat.
The ex-servicemen have been pressing for <g data-gr-id="33">uniform</g> pension for defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.