OROP protest
Some ex-servicemen attempted to set their medals on fire in protest against the government.Twitter/ANI

Ex-servicemen dissatisfied by the Modi government's notification on One Rank One Pension (OROP) reportedly attempted to set their medals on fire in protest on Wednesday. 

Several ex-servicemen gatherered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to set medals on fire but were stopped by other protesters, according to ANI news agency. 

The move comes after months of protests by the former members of the armed forces who have demanded parity in the pensions given to officials of one rank regardless of the year of retirement. 

The ex-servicemen have lambasted the government notification and have accused the centre of cheating people by calling it an OROP notification. 

"What the government has announced is not OROP. It is one rank several pensions," Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd), Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, was quoted as saying by The Hindu. 

Many have already returned their medals earned for their service. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited air force bases and war memorials in Punjab on Thursday, said that the OROP notification was a 'Diwali gift' for the forces.

While addressing Army personnel in Khasa, Modi said that the government has set up a commission to look into complaints and suggestions regarding OROP. 

Ex-servicemen escalated their protest and took out a march from Jantar Mantar to Rashtrapati Bhavan, IANS reported.

"A protest march was taken out from Jantar Mantar to Rashtrapati Bhavan against the diluted OROP scheme," said a spokesperson of the ex-servicemen's front.

Delhi Police, however, stopped the protest march before it could reach Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The veterans listed seven changes made by the government, including annual equalisation, the 2013-14 financial year as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government.

The new scheme also says it will be reviewed once in five years and not annually.

Group Captain V.K. Gandhi (retd), general secretary of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said they were fighting for their rights and a "diluted" OROP scheme was not acceptable.

"The OROP scheme was cleared by parliament. Then why were the changes made in the scheme? Why did they put conditions?" Gandhi asked, and accused the government of cheating them.

Earlier, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the ex-servicemen protesting against the OROP notification were "misguided". He said that while everyone had a right to make a demand in a democracy, not all demands can be fulfilled.

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