Ex-chiefs write to PM demanding OROP

Ex-chiefs write to PM demanding OROP

As two ex-servicemen, Col Pushpendra Singh and Havaldar Major Singh, began their fast-unto-death agitation in the capital demanding implementation of one-rank-one-pension scheme, 10 former military chiefs have come out in support of the ranks.

“As much as the OROP, the respect and dignity of the soldier is at stake here and let it be known that we have extreme concern for the veterans’ long pending demands. We would strongly urge the government to settle this issue expeditiously and in an urgent time frame,” they said. The retired chiefs, who signed the letter include seven former Army chiefs – Gen V N Sharma, Gen Shankar Roy Choudhary, Gen S Padmanabhan, Gen N C Vij, Gen J J Singh, Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen Bikram Singh besides two former Air Force chiefs Air Chief Marshal N C Suri and Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi and former Navy chief Admiral Madhvendera Singh. The retired chiefs said they had not approached the government in the past as they had faith on the political leadership and hoped for an announcement on the Independence Day. “Regrettably this has not happened,” they said.

“Raksha Mantri had after consultations with the services headquarters representatives, veterans and MoD officials approved a Rs 8300 crore-model in February 2014, based on a formula of maximum pension data for each rank and service as on the financial year 2014,” they said.

“The often quoted technical difficulties without ever being specified and discussed are thus bewildering. This is simple arithmetic based on the standard pension tables of the government,” the former chiefs said. This is the second appeal from former military chiefs to the government in the last one week.

Before the Independence Day, four other retired military chiefs – Gen S F Rodrigues, Admiral L Ramdas, Admiral Arun Prakash and Admiral Sureesh Mehta – wrote an open letter to the Supreme Commander and President Pranab Mukherjee requesting implementation of OROP to prevent “denigration and humiliation” of the veteran community.

The four top officers stated a feeling was growing in the ranks that senior generals had not done enough to pursue their cause.

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