War veterans will start returning their medals from today, 9 November, to protest government notification on implementation of 'one rank-one pension', which they have rejected, even as they on Monday hit back at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his comments that not all their demands can be met.
"We have one and only demand and that is OROP. It was the government who inserted provisions that has made the issue complicated. We want OROP as per the definition. No junior should get more pension than his senior.
"In protest against the government notification, we will start returning our medals from tomorrow. On November 10-11, ex-servicemen across the country will start returning their medals. They have already informed the District Magistrates about this," Group Captain VK Gandhi (retd), general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM), said.
The government had on 7 November formally notified the OROP scheme for the over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country, which was rejected by the protesting ex-servicemen.
Parrikar had said earlier in the day that everyone has the right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled. He said "maximum" demands of the veterans have been fulfilled and that the judicial commission to be set up by the government will look into their "problems".
In Delhi, the medals will be returned outside Terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on 9 November, Gandhi said, adding selecting crowded places for the purpose was meant to educate the common man about the issue.
The protesting ex-servicemen also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and briefed him about the OROP notification.
"He called us today and asked us to brief him about the government notification. He has said in coming days he will take up the issue, address press conference and also visit the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar," Gandhi said after meeting Kejriwal.