One Rank One Pension: Delhi police manhandle army veterans, Rahul joins stir
New Delhi: Agitating
ex-servicemen demanding implementation of 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) were on
Friday allegedly manhandled by Delhi Police as it tried to evict them from
protest hotspot Jantar Mantar here ahead of the Independence Day celebrations
on the ground of security.
Giving boost to their
voice, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi joined the stir and appealed Prime
Minister Narendra Modi to implement OROP. “PM Narendra Modi must announce a
date for implementing OROP for the ex-servicemen. These people should not be
removed. They are protesting for their rights,” Rahul told media after meeting
the agitating ex-servicemen.
Terming the police
action as ‘barbaric’ and ‘undemocratic’, the ex-servicemen, who have been on
protest for nearly two-months, wondered how can they be ‘security threat’ when
they dedicated their lives protecting the country while in service.
“How can you doubt our
integrity? Or consider us a security threat? We served the country in
protecting it and now we have become security threat,” said a protesting army
It will be a “black Independence
Day as they have tried to curb our independence,” said group captain VK Gandhi
(retired), adding, “The way the police have acted against us just a day before
Independence Day is totally unjustified.”
The police said they
tried to evict protesters from various outfits from Jantar Mantar in the heart
of the capital following a request by civic agency New Delhi Municipal Council.
As the police and NDMC
started clearing the protest hotspot, the ex-servicemen refused to go away. “I
was pushed by the cops who even tore my shirt,” said 82-year-old Vishambhar
raising anti-police slogans.
“This is shocking and
obnoxious. Nothing can be worse. We are the protectors of India’s Independence.
We are requesting the Police Commissioner to restore our tents since we had
permission. The move to remove our tents is barbaric, undemocratic and dictatorial
as it comes on the eve of Independence Day,” Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh,
Chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, told PTI.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister
Arvind Kejriwal came out in support of the ex-servicemen and slammed the police
for trying to evict them from Jantar Mantar. He also requested Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to announce acceptance of their demands of OROP in his
Independence Day address on Saturday.
Amid mounting pressure
by ex-servicemen, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday said the Central government may soon make
an announcement on One Rank One Pension.
“We are committed to
the ex-servicemen and an announcement for One Rank One Pension may be made
soon,” Rathore told reporters here ahead of Independence Day. (With inputs from agencies)