New Delhi [India], Nov. 2 : Ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal allegedly committed suicide at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi over the delay in implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme.
He consumed poison last afternoon. However, the cause behind Grewal's suicide is yet to be ascertained. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be visiting Grewal's family in Haryana's Bhiwani later in the day.
Dubbing the incident as 'unfortunate', Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Commando Surinder Singh alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre was indulging in politics over the Indian Army.
"A very unfortunate incident has taken place with this family. For the last one day, Grewal and 50 other ex-servicemen were sitting on strike. They wanted to present their memorandum to the Defence Minister. He had to wait for two days for the Defence Minister. When he was going to meet him, he faced many hurdles. In his memorandum he wrote that he is sacrificing his life for the nation and for the soldiers," he told the media.
Singh further said the salary that the soldiers get is not enough for living. "On one hand, the government is doing politics over the Indian Army and on the other hand, the soldiers are forced to commit suicide today.
The salary that a soldier gets is not enough for living. I condemn this incident," said Singh. The AAP leader also used the occasion to target Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and accused the latter of indulging in petty political gains over the sacrifice of soldiers.
"I want to tell the Defence Minister to wake up...you are the Defence Minister of the nation...you do politics in the name of the soldiers.
You try to take votes in the name of the soldiers. You don't even meet the soldiers. The soldiers have to commit suicide to even present a memorandum," said Singh. "Today, the entire nation and all the ex-servicemen are standing with the family. His sacrifice won't go in vain. We will meet with the Defence Minister with this demand," he added. Grewal's son Jaswant urged the Modi Government to look into the matter. "My father sacrificed for the nation. He was demanding the One Rank, One Pension. The Modi Government should think about this," he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while celebrating the Diwali with the army and ITBP personnel in Sumdo, Kinnaur, had said that the first instalment of nearly Rs.
5,500 crore has been paid for implementing the OROP scheme. The Prime Minister also asserted that he has "fulfilled the promise" which he made to ex-servicemen on the issue that has been hanging fire for the last 40 years.
OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country.
It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.