OROP: Protesting ex-servicemen claim police harassment

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Ex-servicemen, protesting for implementation of 'One Rank, One Pension' scheme at Jantar Mantar here, today alleged harassment by police and claimed that they are being tailed by "unidentified people".

Col (retd) Anil Kaul, media advisor of the United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement (UFESM), claimed three veterans - Col Pushpendra Singh, Havildar Major Singh and Havildar Ashok Chauhan - were intercepted by two policemen yesterday near South Block when they had gone to meet the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

OROP: Veterans claim police harassment

UFESM, a conglomerate of various organisations of retired defence personnel, has been spearheading the protest seeking implementation of One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) scheme. "The three had gone to South Block when they were intercepted by two cops.

They asked them to come to the police station with them. However, they refused to go with them," Kaul said, adding that the trio were among those sitting on fast-unto-death. Kaul claimed the police also offered to drop the trio back to Jantar Mantar, but they declined.

"We think the cops belonged to Parliament Street police station but they refused to reveal their identity... The cops backed off when Col Pushpendra Singh confronted them and asked whether they had any written notice from their superiors which required the veterans to report to the police station," Group Captain V K Gandhi, general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) and convenor of UFESM, said.

Major Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, one of the negotiators with the government on OROP and chairman of IESM, alleged that he was being tailed by unidentified persons. He claimed cars of those protesting at Jantar Mantar were also being photographed by police. "The other day someone was following my car. The cops photographed the cars of those sitting on the fast at Jantar Mantar and the functionaries of UFESM.

There is a pressure on us to end the fast," Singh said. UFESM today raked up the Dadri lynching incident and demanded a grievance redressal mechanism for the servicemen and their families in the wake of killing of the father of an Air Force corporal. Their demand included formation of a Veterans Commission and passage of the Convenant for the Armed Forces legislation.

PTI

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