War veterans set to return medals were misguided: Indian minister

(From PTI)

The behaviour of retired army personnel protesting the notification on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Tuesday, a day after the war veterans decided to return their medals.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

He termed one rank, one pension (OROP) decision as his biggest achievement in the last one year and said it was the BJP government that had finalised the measure.

“This is unlike a soldier. Whoever are still protesting despite the announcement are being misguided,” he said.

Parrikar said that if there are any grievances, the veterans can present their case to the judicial commission that will be set up for this purpose.

He said everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled.

The government on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for over 240,0000 retired army personnel and 600,000 war widows in the country. The notification is more or less in line with what Parrikar had announced on September 5.

However, it has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude veterans who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits.

“It will be effective prospectively,” according to the notification.

The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalization of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.

Ex-servicemen, who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, have rejected the notification.

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