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2 OROP camps? Diversity in unity!

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By Kanika Rangray

When at Jantar Mantar, the prominent thing one sees is the OROP protest going on—a united approach by ex-servicemen of the country to gain their “rights.” What might escape the eye or may stay ignored is the presence of two separate camps for the same OROP protest.

The camp making news is the one which is led by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh. The less-known camp is of those who claim that they have been sidelined by their fellow colleagues in the pension dilemma.

oropEx-serviceman Naik Avtar Singh said: “They have in a way sidelined us. Our pension amount is less. Why so, when we fought on same borders? This has led to a separate camp.”

Saabka Sainik Sangarash Committee (TarnTaran), as the separate and smaller camp names self, has claimed that there is a consistent human rights violation of the widows of soldiers.

According to them “the pension of the widows of officers has been increased again and again, but the pensions of the soldiers’ widows remain the same.”

widow graphic

If the increase in the pensions was kept equally proportionate then accordingly the pension of the officer’s widow will be Rs. 15758.40/ month and the pension of the soldier’s widow would be Rs. 9380/month.

There is also a difference between the disability pension given to a soldier and an officer—it is not given on the basis of disability but on the basis of rank.

disability graphicConsequently, the apathy and disagreements has brought the fracture between two camps to fore.

 

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)

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