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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ex-jawan kills self allegedly over OROP

Ram Kishan Grewal, a former Army jawan, who was protesting over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday.


Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Delhi Cantonment Commando Surender said Ram Kishan Grewal had come to the Capital to protest against the government's alleged backtracking on the implementation of the OROP scheme.

“He was protesting at Jantar Mantar and had then proceeded to meet the Defence Minister with a group of fellow protesters when he consumed poison,” Mr. Surender said after meeting the deceased's sons.

A senior police officer told The Hindu that the 69-year-old Ram Kishan consumed poison around 1.30 p.m. even as he and four others accompanying him were waiting to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to submit a memorandum reiterating their demands on the OROP scheme.

Manish Sisodia, Rahul Gandhi and Arwind Kejriwal has been detained by Delhi Police.



What is Orop and why are veterans still unhappy
The one rank one pension (Orop) scheme was announced by the Modi government on September 6, 2015 but ex-servicemen say it has failed to address their concerns.

The scheme, implemented after more than 40 years, promises equal pension to military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said the first installment of nearly R5,500 crore was paid towards Orop.

“What has been implemented is not Orop but one-time increase in pensions. If the anomalies are not removed, senior defence personnel will start drawing less pension than their juniors, a system unacceptable constitutionally, fairly and justifiably,” said major general Satbir Singh (retd), who is at the forefront of the Orop agitation.

The main features of Orop and the complaints the veterans have:
1. The scheme is effective July 1, 2014, with 2013 as the base year. The veterans wanted Orop from April 1, 2014 and 2015 as the base year.

2. Around three million military personnel covered under the Orop scheme. The arrears are to be paid in four half-yearly installments and all widows, including war widows, will get arrears in one go. First instalment has been paid and second is on the way.

3. The estimated cost to exchequer is expected to be Rs 8,000 to 10,000 crore and will increase in future.

4. The government has proposed a review every five years. The veterans want an annual review. Their contention is that a senior officer can never receive a smaller pension than a junior officer.

5. The government initially said soldiers who took “voluntary retirement” would not be entitled to Orop. This hit a raw nerve as at least 40% of servicemen retire early. Only those who retired before the plan kicked in would be entitled to Orop, the government has said.

6. A single-member judicial panel set up by the government to look into various aspects of Orop, including inter-services matters, has submitted its report, which is yet to be made public

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