Tuesday, April 26, 2016
JANTAT MANTAR UPDATE : 317TH DAY
1. Our Relay Hunger Strike is going on smoothly and strongly at Jantar Mantar. Today is 317th day. Mrs Sudesh Goyet has been regularly on Relay Hunger Strike for 244th day. We salute her grit determination and dedication to the cause. Ex-Servicemen throughout the length and breadth of the Country have whole heartedly supported the cause by their presence and donations. 14 brave ESM had taken fast unto death and continued till 25 days to convey unhappiness of ESM countrywide with neglect of ESM by Government and denial of OROP to ESM.(preferably write their names). Volunteers who are administrating Relay Hunger Strike at Jantar Mantar, are doing an excellent job and their contribution will be remembered whenever the History of OROP will be written. Special mention will be made of the contribution of ESM of Gurdaspur who also completed RHS for 306 days alongwith JM of Delhi. Jathas from neighbouring states and NCR are holding the Relay Hunger Strike with Honour, Dignity and Respect. The supporters from across the country visit Jantar Mantar to showcase their solidarity to the cause of Soldiers and for the Profession of Arms. “Izzat-O-Insaf” slogan rents the air at Jantar Mantar many times during the day.
2. ESM Agitation per se which started on 14 June 2015 at Jantar Mantar and at many locations in the Country will continue, will be strengthened by the day till our objective of Implementation of Actual OROP is met. Unity of objectives, the cardinal principle will be adopted and adhered to. The actions and activities may however be strategized, keeping in view the response from the Govt and the existing environments.
3. We have already sent our representation to address the anomalies arising in the implementation of OROP to Justice Reddy Committee on 25 Mar 2016 through the Hon’ble RM. This is in response to the discussion held by RM with the ESM representatives on 14 Mar 2016. Justice Reddy Committee is scheduled to submit its recommendations by . As already informed to you all, we have brought out the following anomalies in the Implementation of OROP:-
· Equalization of Pensions as per the original approved definition be carried out every year instead of 5 years as per the Govt Notification dated 07 Nov 2015.
· Pensions are to be fixed at maximum of the Rank and year of service in the year instead of Average of Max and Min.
· Since the OROP is being implemented with effect from 01 Jul 2014, the base year should be 2014-2015 instead of Average of 2013.
· OROP should be implemented with effect from 01 Apr 2014 as mentioned in the Executive Order of the Govt dated 26 Feb 2014 instead of 01 Jul 2014.
· There are serious inaccuracies in the construction of Tables issued on 03.02.2016 for the fixation of pensioners. The details of inaccuracies have been brought to the Notice of Service HQs with request to forward the same to Justice Reddy Committee. We understand from the Service HQs that these inaccuracies have been brought to the notice of MoD.
· Approved definition of OROP has been given out in the Govt. Executive Order dated 26 Feb 2014. But it has been changed while transmitting to Reddy Committee, which totally destroys the soul of the OROP. This approved definition has been confirmed by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in the Parliament on 02 Dec 2014 and is in line which the Recommendations of Koshyari Committee. The salient point of the Govt Executive Orders and the approved definition of OROP vide Govt of India In of Def Letter No. 12 (01)/2014/D(Pen/Pol) dated 26 Feb 2014 are as under :-
(i) Finance Minister in his Interim Budget Speech on 17th February 2014 announced that the Government has accepted the principle of One Rank One Pension for the defence forces. In pursuance of this Budget announcement and the decision taken in the meeting chaired by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 26.02.2014, It has been decided to implement the principle of One Rank One Pension for all ranks of defence forces prospectively from the financial year 2014-15.
(ii) It was noted that “One Rank One Pension (OROP) implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners”
4. However, the Govt through its Notification dated 07 Nov 2015, has changed the above approved definition which totally destroys the soul of the OROP. We have already written to RM for the restoration of original definition Justice Reddy has been requested to recommend the restoration of the original approved definition. The amended definition in fact kills the very concept of OROP which is to be applicable in perpetuity.
5. We will shortly be impleading in the ongoing OROP case of Maj Gen SPS Vains Vs others and Union of India in the SC for all ranks. Senior Advocate Shri Ram Jeth Malani has very kindly consented to fight our case of implementation of Actual OROP for all ranks pro-bono.
6. The Govt through its, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Ms. Pinky Anand, on 16 Feb 2015 had stated that the Govt has sanctioned the implementation of OROP for which the Supreme Court of India gave three months time for its Implementation. Though, the Govt has implemented the OROP through its Notification dated 07 Nov 2015 and Tables issued vide letter No 12(1)/2014/D(Pen/Policy)-Part –II dated 03.02.2016, it is a diluted OROP and is NOT RPT NOT ACTUAL OROP. We will continue our struggle till Actual OROP is granted.
7. We are also filing the following cases in AFT RK Puram New Delhi:-
(a) Grant of pension equal to regular ranks for Hony ranks awarded to ESM on retirement or after retirement.
(b) Broad banding of disability pension.
(c) Arrears upto 2006 for all JCOs/OR.
(d) Reservist Pension should be increased.
8. The Print and Electronic Media has blacked out any new about our ongoing OROP Agitation. We have already brought to the Notice of Information Minister Mr. Jaitley and requested him to issue suitable directions to ensure free and fair media coverage of our Activities of our Movement. All members of Defence Fraternity and our supporters are requested to chip in and assist in coverage of News regarding our activities through Print, Electronic and Social Media platforms. Fauji kids are doing good job and we request more of the like to join in
9. There are serious and large numbers of Anomalies in the recommendations of 7the CPC. If the recommendations are approved in the present form, it will furthers degrade and downgrade the profession of Defence Forces. The Review Committee constituted by the Govt does not have any member from the Defence Forces. Even the BSF has got their member included. The three chiefs have jointly represented to the Govt and brought out 36 Anomalies in the Recommendations of 7th CPC. We the Ex-Servicemen fully support the views of our three Services Chiefs and would struggle to get our due Justice. The degradation, down gradation, ill-treatment and mistreatment of Military in status, pay pension and allowances have to stop and the status of Defence Forces in all respects as it existed on 26 Jan 1950 needs to be restored at the earliest. We will jointly and unitedly struggle to get Izzat and Insaf for the solders. We request all members of the Sainik Samaj to strongly represent to the Govt about the injustices being heaped on the Soldiers at all forums to ensure Civil Military relations are restored to the required and desired levels. Dignity & Respect of the Soldiers must be ensured by the Govt and the Nation.
10. We would request our Hon’ble PM & RM and the six MPs from the Defence Fraternity to assist in Restoring the Izzat of the Soldiers”. “Do we respect our Soldiers”? Discussion needs to be taken to every nook and corner of the country on all forums to grant the due priority to the “Profession of Arms” and the “Security of the Nation.” Our representatives in the Parliament must debate on the issue and restore the status of Armed Forces in all respects to the 26 Jan 1950 level.
11. We strongly feel that the Political Parties and the Govts of the day did not pay any attention to the Defence Forces since they thought that we, both serving and retired are spread across the Country and do not use our Vote Power. This thought had a lot to do with the neglect of defence personnel by the Political Parties.
12. We now, understand power of Vote and have carried out study and research across the country in various states. The study reveals that we have direct influence of over 6 crores Votes and our capability of opinion making is so large in villages and Tehsils that we could influence another 4 crores indirectly. This large no of voting strength can affect the election outcome of at-least 150 Parliamentary Constituencies and over 450 State Assembly Constituencies across the country.
13. Friends, we propose to utilize this potential Force of “Power of Vote”. We should, based on the interests of Sainik Samaj, use this “Power of Vote”. Each vote should be cast with care and thought. We intend to take ESM to Parliament and state assemblies to raise the voice of ESM family. We intend to now directly participate in law making rather than begging existing MPs to write laws governing ESM and armed forces. Our OROP Protest Movement since 14th June 2015 has taught us many lessons. The best outcome of the Movement has been the forging of “Unity of Objections” amongst the Sainik Samaj. It was this Unity, demonstrated on ground at Jantar Mantar and at many location across the country which has been the major factor in the implementation of OROP though it is in a Diluted form.
14. We have decided to use this “Power of Votes” in all Election in the States and Centre. We request all members of the Sainik Samaj to understand and use this “Power of Votes” for the interest and benefit of Sainik Samaj in the coming State elections.
15. We will soon be focusing on this important factor to restore our status in all respects. ESM in various states who have the interest should come forward and fight elections from Panchyat to Parliament.
16. We, however wish to clarify that no member from Governing Body of IESM will fight any Election as candidate. In case any member wishes to do so, he / she will resign before contesting the election.
17. As already announced, we will actively take part, in elections and unitedly use the “Power of Votes” in all coming State Elections with the sole aim of sending 40 to 50 ESM as Member Parliament and 30 to 40 ESM in each state assemblies to represent ESM family.
18. The false case lodged against the office bearers of IESM will be fought to its logical conclusions. We assure the Sainik Samaj once again that every paisa of the IESM Funds has been spent on the activities of the IESM, accounted for, Audit by Independent CA carried out and the withdrawal and expenses duly ratified by the General Body. Our accounts are open to all ESM to come and check them randomly.
All members of the retired Defence Fraternity, specially our senior officers of One Star and above” and our supporters are requested to visit Jantar Mantar daily to showcase their solidarity to the cause of Soldiers.
“Hands-Heads and shoulders…………Together”
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)
Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen & Chairman IESM
(SOURCE- VIA GP E-MAIL)