High drama broke out in the national capital when news spread over the suicide of an army veteran over the government’s failure to implement One Rank One Pension ( OROP) scheme. Grewal, 70, formerly of Rajputana Rifles, allegedly took poison at a park near Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Tuesday evening and died demanding the immediate implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
The Jawan’s family was also placed under arrest and kept in the Connaught place police station. This was totally unprecedented. Rahul Gandhi, the President of Congress party who went to meet the Jawan’s family was also promptly arrested by the Delhi police. He questioned the police saying, “A martyr’s family is arrested. This is Modi ji’s India.” Gandhi was not allowed to enter the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where 70-year-old Ram Kishan Grewal’s body was kept, while Delhi Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia was detained outside the hospital. The Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal who went to meet the kin was also kept waiting outside Lady Hardinge hospital. The Delhi police force is totally under the control of the Central Government.
It must be recalled here that the BJP government has been paying a lot of lip service to the cause of the army. PM Modi has been in the forefront of the Diwali campaign, saying, “I sent my #Sandesh2Soldiers. You could also do the same. Your wishes will certainly make our forces very happy.” Rahul Gandhi had raised the burning issue of OROP and blamed the government for downgrading the status of jawans vis a vis the civilians and only granting a false package in the name of implementing OROP. “As we celebrate Diwali, and rejoice in the victory of light over darkness, let us send this message to our soldiers that our gratitude is expressed both in words and in deed. This is the very least we owe to those who give up their today to secure our tomorrow.”
India has only recently and rightly removed the archaic punishment for attempt to commit suicide. In this episode not only is the family arrested and detained but all elected representatives prevented from meeting them. The ex army chief and BJP minister VK Singh has added insult to injury by saying that the mental state of the veteran has to be checked.
Memorandum the ex-army jawan wrote in regard to One Rank One Pension (OROP) and was in the process of submitting to Defence ministry
Meanwhile, the ex-serviceman had been holding protests at Jantar Mantar, Delhi’s designated site for protests, to demand changes in the OROP. The protesters say four of their primary conditions have not been met by the government yet.