An email and copy of article published by UNI, received from Shree Abhijit C Chandra, Chief Sub-Editor UNI, is reproduced below.
I once again appeal to YOU ALL, to kindly take part in the Military Veterans Rally on Sunday, 06 March 11, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
The numbers do matter.
Therefore, each one of you is very important for the success of Indian Military Veterans. Do not look for excuses to miss the rally.
Be a proud Veteran and take part in the rally.
LET US ALL STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AND FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE TO INDIAN MILITARY VETERANS- IT IS NOW OR NEVER
Best way to reach the rally site is to travel by Metro in Delhi.
The rally site is on 300 metres from the Patel Chowk Metro Station and 1000 metre from the Rajive Chowk Metro station, both easy walking distances.
Wear a regimental cap or some insignia to indicate you are an Indian Military Veteran, that will help to impress on the media and the public watching us.
Join the rally with family members and friends – 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM.
Adequate administrative arrangements for seating, water, tea, a simple lunch and sanitation are being made at the rally site, with typical military perfection.
I also appeal to the Indian Military Veterans to kindly activate their contacts with print media and the TV media.
Please ensure we get the best possible media coverage.
Do not miss this chance of supporting the Fight for Justice to Indian Military Veterans.
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Subject: Veterans' Vishal Rally to protest against Centre's apathy
The following report- released by the United News of India news agency on March 2, 2011- is for your kind perusal.
VETERANS' VISHAL RALLY TO PROTEST AGAINST CENTRE'S APATHY
Bhopal, Mar 2 (UNI)
Veterans under the banner of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) will hold a Vishal Rally at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Sunday to protest against the Centre's "apathy and negative attitude" towards their genuine demands the principal one being 'One Rank One Pension'.
"Thereafter, a delegation will leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan to deposit gallantry and Distinguished Service medals and a memorandum signed in blood to the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces," IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh, Sena Medal, said in a release.
IESM Chairman Lieutenant-Gen Raj Kadyan, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, AVSM, VSM, has already written to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to accept the medals and the memo herself.
On seven earlier occasions, the veterans sought to return their medals to the Supreme Commander but the President has never granted them audience. The veterans have decided that in case the President does not accept the medals and the memo in person they will bring these back. The Rally will be conducted from 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs.
"Despite veterans peaceful protests across the country for the past over 30 months, depositing of over 22,000 medals besides memoranda signed in blood by over 1.5 lakh veterans and numerous missives to and meetings with the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and other authorities, the Centre has not accepted genuine demands," Maj-Gen Singh alleged.
The Armed Forces tribunals, formed with a lot of "fanfare" to provide speedy justice to both serving and retired personnel, have been reduced to "toothless" tigers by the bureaucracy by not giving these the powers to initiate contempt proceedings against non-implementation of judgements.
This is evidenced by the fact that out of 4,000 judgements, 3600- which were in personnel's favour- have not witnessed implementation.
"Establishment of the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, comprising two retired judges and two senior retired defence officers, was ordered by the Supreme Court and was to be operational by January 14. But till now, the Commission has not been rendered operational at ground level," Maj-Gen Singh pointed out.
It was extremely "disturbing" to know that personnel's widows were left out from the enhancement of pensions of junior commissioned officers and jawans carried out through a Government notification dated March 8, 2010.
"The Centre's indifferent attitude towards the Armed Forces is unexplainable especially keeping in mind the hostile environment prevailing on our borders both at land and sea. A nation to survive in such a hostile environment has to keep its forces well-equipped, well-trained, motivated and contented. These aspects need to be holistically addressed," he added.
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