New Delhi: Disappointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance that the government has accepted “in principle” their demand for ‘One Rank One Pension' (OROP), ex-servicemen on Sunday announced intensification of their stir by deciding to launch an indefinite hunger strike from August 24.
“A group of ex-servicemen will start an indefinite fast here from August 24,” Col (Retd) Anil Kaul, media advisor to the United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement, told PTI as the agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi entered the 63rd day today.
The protestors have been on a relay hunger strike so far.
In his speech on Saturday, Mr. Modi had not given a specific timeline for the implementation of OROP, but stressed that talks were in the final stages, drawing sharp reactions from ex-servicemen who vowed to step up their protest.
Meanwhile, AAP MLA Col (Retd) Devinder Sehrawat, who skipped the President's at-home reception on Independence Day over the demand, has written to Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention on behalf of the protesting ex-servicemen.
“I have to inform you with a heavy heart that the ex-servicemen are languishing on the road, undergoing shabby and disgraceful treatment at the hands of police and municipal authorities, as they protest for their rightful demand of OROP.
“Pardon my audacity, but they do expect your intervention in the matter,” Mr. Sehrawat said in his letter yesterday to the President — who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
The AAP legislator from Bijwasan constituency, Mr. Sehrawat also said he will “actively” participate in a dharna called by ex-servicemen over the OROP demand as no firm time-frame has been declared for its implementation.
Ex-servicemen are holding a protest at Jantar Mantar and in other parts of the country for two months demanding early implementation of OROP.