Veteran on fast seeking OROP shifted to hospital

Veteran on fast seeking OROP shifted to hospital

Ex-servicemen began hunger strike on Aug 15

Veteran on fast seeking OROP shifted to hospital

Retired Col Pushpendra Singh, one of the ex-servicemen carrying out the fast-unto-death agitation demanding quick implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP), was shifted to hospital on Monday after his health condition deteriorated following eight days of hunger strike.

The doctors who checked on Col Singh said ketone levels are high in his body. He has been admitted in the Army's Research and Referral Hospital.

Ketone levels increased when the body burns down the stored fat in the absence of food intake. Heightened ketone levels have adverse health consequences.

“I will come back and continue my fast. I am not ready to go, but the people here want me to as they say high ketone level will affect brain functioning,” Col Singh said. He has been replaced by Hav Saheb Singh in the hunger strike.

“Col Pushpendra Singh was posted at Bhuj during the devastating earth quake in Bhuj in 2001 and did a sterling job of rehabilitation of quake affected persons. His services were applauded by the Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” said Col Anil Kaul (rtd), media advisor to the United Front of the Ex-Servicemen Movement.

Kaul alleged that the Delhi Police tried to take the ambulance to the nearby RML hospital, but the veterans took him to the R&R. “We have taken him to Army Research and Referral Hospital in a private car. We have also requested the Army chief to ensure best treatment for him,” he said.

The ex-servicemen are agitating for more than two months demanding implementation of OROP to take care of the pension imbalances for officers and soldiers, who retire early in their career. As the government failed to implement the OROP, three ex-servicemen began the hunger strike from August 15.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier promised the ex-servicemen that he would meet Modi on August 23 to find ways to resolve the crisis. But there is no confirmation if the Parrikar-Modi meeting had taken place or not.

Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.