The Defence Ministry, on Monday, said that the report of a one member committee on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) is under examination. The statement comes after the veterans protesting for the OROP to be implemented were forcefully evicted from the protest site, earlier in the day. The report added that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also met Justice L Narasimha Reddy, the retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, who had submitted the report on OROP to the government, as per a report by IANS. Recently, some soldiers have launched protests stating that the OROP implemented by the government was flawed and would not justify the goal of having the same pension for those retiring from the same rank. The major demand of the protesting group of veterans is the time period for revision of pensions. While government’s OROP has a revision plan after every five years, veterans have demanded annual rationalisation of pensions. Other demands include fixing pensions at top of the scale as against the current fixation of mean average, making the date of implementation April 1, 2014 from July 1, 2014 as it is presently and fixing the base year of implementation at financial year 2013-14, and not on the basis of calendar year, as it is at present.
Major General Satbir Singh (retired), who is playing an active role in the continuing agitation, has questioned the government as to what it is studying in the report even after one year of its submission, as per IANS report. He said, “What is the government studying in the report after one year? They are making fools out of us,” as per the report. It is to be noted that the protesters at Jantar Mantar were forcefully evicted on Monday, by police and civic authorities following an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 5 banning protests at the spot. The police and civic officials also demolished tents and makeshift structures set up by ex-servicemen protesting at the Jantar Mantar for the last two years. The Central Government had appointed the committee under the Justice Reddy to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of the implementation of OROP.
Earlier, a group of veterans had started the protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar on June 15, 2015, and also staged an indefinite hunger strike before the government announced on September 5, 2015, that it will be implementing OROP.