Ex-servicemen announced here on Tuesday that they had been forced to “regretfully heighten” their agitation, a relay hunger strike on for a month at Jantar Mantar here, demanding early implementation of the one rank, one pension scheme. They would hold a “Maha Sangram rally” in election-bound Bihar in August. The government is yet to react on the issue.
“To convey the message of a ‘broken promise’ to the electorate of the States going to the polls, we plan to hold the rally in Patna in August,” the United Front of Ex-servicemen Movement said in a statement.
Terming it “shameful” to see award-winning ex-servicemen, some in their 80s and 90s, having to resort to sterner methods, the statement said some had volunteered to go on a fast-unto-death.
However giving time for the government to respond, “We will delay the escalation of protests by one week,” Major-General Satbir Singh Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement told presspersons.
The escalatory measures include boycotting all government-organised functions and taking up a relay hunger strike in all 640 districts of the country.
“We will hold relay hunger strikes in all 640 districts. However, the public will not be inconvenienced in any way,” Lieutenant-General (Retired) Balbir Singh said.
One rank, one pension has been the long pending of the 2.6 million ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows for parity in pension based on rank and length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.
Source : The Hindu