Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the behaviour of war veterans protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided even as he asked them not to link their decision to return medals to a financial demand.
He said he was “pained” to see such tactics being used.
“Medals are given by the country for the service and gallantry acts that the soldiers have rendered. A section insisting on returning the medals because one is not happy with certain clauses of OROP, for which the government is paying over Rs 8,000 crore, is demeaning the medal itself,” Parrikar told PTI.
While noting that democracy gives everyone the right to protest, he urged the veterans not to return their medals which have been bestowed upon them by the country.
“These acts are not in line with the army discipline. It is hurting the basic ethos of the army,” Parrikar said here.
He termed the 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.
People who are still protesting seems to have been misguided, the minister said.
“This government and I have worked very hard to fulfill the promise of OROP which no other government fulfilled over the past 40 years. 95 per cent of the veterans’ community is satisfied.
“If some still have any grievances, they can present their case to the judicial committee that will be set up,” he said.