Ex-servicemen stage protest rally for ‘One Rank-One Pension'

     Around 5000 ex-servicemen of Defence services staged a protest rally here on Sunday to vent out their anguish against the government for not accepting their long-pending demand for 'One Rank-One Pension'. “I have brought a memorandum with 1,00,000 thumb impressions from Punjab and in collaboration with the ex-servicemen movement of General Satbir Singh, we will give this memorandum to the President,” said Gurjinder Singh Sidhu, a former officer of Corps of Engineers. “During this meeting, we'll bring this matter to her notice that our right for 'One Rank-One Pension' should be given to us. The government has implemented this scheme but it has not been followed fully,” he added. The protestors later submitted the memorandum at the office of President Pratibha Patil. The ex-servicemen of varying ranks also returned their medals to be deposited with the President of India as mark of their protest. “We have deposited our medals to express our grief, that if you (the government) cannot respect soldiers of our country then these medals are not an honour for us, they are just an ordinary item and burden on us. We are returning these medals and when the scheme of One Rank-One Pension is implemented, we will take back these medals,” said Major General A J B Jaini, a member of the governing body of a forum of ex-servicemen. Several widows and even dependents of the ex-servicemen from many places of India participated in this protest rally.

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