Veterans on fast unto death, fighting for justice

published on December 24, 2008

Press Statement issued by Shri Jaswant Singh

Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha), Dec. 24, 2008

The Bhartiya Janata Party views with concern the relay fast undertaken by veterans of our defence forces at Jantar Mantar as it enters its 8th day today. Sipahi Suleman Khan and Naik Lek Raj, who have been on ‘fast unto death’, have now been joined by Captain Om Prakash and Subedar Major Dahiya. The number of volunteers sitting on ‘fast unto death’ is likely to rise in the days to come.

The basic demand of the veterans is ‘One Rank one Pension’ (OROP). The issue has already been debated in Parliament and examined by the Parliamentary Committee on Defence in detail. The unanimous recommendation is to accept this demand. The BJP has always supported this vital concern.

Shri Jaswant Singh the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha had once again raised the issue on the floor of the house on 23 October 2008. He has also written to the Raksha Mantri drawing his attention to the matter urgently.

Their demands are:-

    * One Rank One Pension (OROP)
    * Resettlement till the age of sixty
    * Consideration of an Ex Servicemen Commission
    * Services representation on all committees deciding issues of their concern.

Pension is a right for services rendered. Elementary logic suggests that two individuals rendering equal service and reaching the same rank, thereby having discharged the same level of responsibility, should get equal compensation, irrespective of their dates of retirement.

The Bhartiya Janata Party therefore demands of the Government to immediately take steps to save lives of the veterans, both being Personnel Below Officer rank through suitable and urgent action.

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