NEW DELHI: Even as the Ministry of Defence denied the allegation that ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal who allegedly committed suicide wasn’t paid his dues as promised, Union minister and former Army chief V K Singh triggered a controversy saying the “mental state” of the deceased needed to be probed first.
“He has committed suicide. No one knows the reason behind it. OROP is being shown as the reason. What his mental state was we do not know. Let it be probed first. OROP should be kept above politics,” Singh told reporters. The Centre accepted the long-pending demands for the uniform pension regime and there was no need to get into “what one is saying for 4 paisa,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior defence ministry official said Grewal was getting OROP benefits. “He was getting benefits of the OROP scheme as per the notification and the 6th Pay Commission. And the 7th Pay Commission is yet to be implemented in the armed forces due to some anomalies,” said a senior ministry official. As per OROP, uniform pensions will be paid to defence personnel retiring in the same rank with same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement by bridging the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners at five periodic intervals.
However, some veterans were unhappy about the scheme and have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi over their demands for equalising the pension annually instead of every five years, among others.