Kejriwal calls PM Modi 'anti-soldier' after Delhi L-G rejects Rs 1cr compensation to kin of soldier who killed self demanding OROP

Updated On : 09 Mar , 2017 , 06:12 PM
New Delhi:

An indignant Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘anti-soldier’ on Thursday amid the ongoing file rejection politics over the death of an ex-soldier.

This comes after newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal rejected Kejriwal’s decision to give Rs 1 crore ex-gratia to family of an ex-soldier who had committed suicide during a protest in Delhi over non implementation of OROP (One Rank one Pension).

Baijal, according to sources had rejected the file on March 6, which was cleared by the Delhi Cabinet. Ram Kishan Grewal, a 65-year-old who served the Army for 30 years had consumed poison in November on the lawns of a government building in Delhi.

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Grewal from Haryana, had alleged that he had not received any dues, as promised to him under OROP.

The rejection came on the grounds that ‘death didn’t occur in the line of duty, as mandated under the policy.’

According to the policy, domicile of an individual being granted ex-gratia is equally important. The person in order to be entitled to ex-gratia needs to be either serving with any agency in Delhi at the time of death, or a resident of Delhi at the time of joining service.

Delhi Minister for Water, Tourism, Culture, Arts and Languages and Gurudwara Elections Kapil Mishra has also accused Centre of playing politics.

“We are trying to give compensation to the grieved family of an ex-soldier and the reasons being put forward to oppose this decision are wrong…. When sportspersons/ players come with medals, the government rewards them but when a soldier died fighting for his rights why the government is not helping it? This is for the first time that a government is trying to cease help to a soldier’s family. The issue  is being politicised by Central government,” said Kapil Mishra.

What is OROP?

OROP stands for One Rank One Pension in India. In simple words, it means same pension for same rank for same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.

Demand for pay-pension equity, the underlying concept of OROP, was first brought to light after the decision by the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress (INC) government, in 1973, two years after the historic victory in the 1971 Bangladesh war, and shortly after Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw retired, to decrease armed forces pensions by 20–40 percent, and increase civilian pensions by 20 percent, without consultation with armed forces headquarters.

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In 1986, the Third Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations dint go very well among the rank and file of the armed forces with the Government's decision to implements Rank Pay, which reduced basic pay of captain, majors, lt-colonel, colonels, and brigadiers, and their equivalent in the air-force, and the navy, relative to basic pay scales of civilian and police officers.

The decision to reduce the basic pay of these ranks, implemented without consulting the armed forces, created radically asymmetries between police-military ranks, affected the pay, and pension of ten of thousands of officers and veterans, spawned two decades of contentious litigation by veterans. It became a lingering cause of distrust between the armed forces veterans and the MOD, which the government did little to ameliorate.

Grewal’s suicide over OROP

In November 2016, Grewal, an ex-serviceman had allegedly committed suicide over the issue of delay in OROP that had trigerred a political slugfest with Congress, AAP and BJP targeting one another for politicizing the issue.

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Kejriwal, a bitter critic of Modi, also alleged that the Prime Minister was "lying" that the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme was being implemented by the Centre, contending that ex-serviceman, Ram Kishan Grewal, would not have committed suicide if the scheme was being executed by the Centre.

First Published : Thursday, March 09, 2017 01:00 PM
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