New Delhi, Aug 18: Notwithstanding "advice" from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to put off their stir, a third veteran today joined the fast-unto-death by ex-servicemen as part of the agitation to press for implementation of 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) scheme.
"Havildar Ashok Chauhan has also gone on fast-unto-death in support of OROP. Those at Jantar Mantar have tried to dissuade him, but he is not relenting," Col Anil Kaul (Retd), media advisor to United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM), said on the second day of the hunger strike.
Stepping up agitation on OROP, a fast-unto-death was launched by two of the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar yesterday. Meanwhile, in a statement UFESM said their advisory council had met Parrikar on August 16 at his residence.
"He advised to postpone fast-unto-death till August 24 as he would meet with the Prime Minister on August 23 and would attempt to get the solution to this vexed problem," the statement said.
It added that the advisory council had counseled the veterans to delay the fast-unto-death, but "they were so charged up and determined because of total neglect of Government to ESM problems that they started the indefinite fast".
"Their anger was further fuelled by the action of government, police and NDMC in manhandling the senior and old veterans protesting peacefully at Jantar Mantar," the statement said. The ex-servicemen have demanded that an FIR be lodged against the defaulting policemen and officials.
They demanded "suspension of the officer who had ordered this barbaric crack down on peacefully agitating ex-servicemen".