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Key group exits ex-servicemen umbrella body

In a setback to the ex-servicemen group spearheading the agitation for ‘One Rank One Pension’, a key member, the Indian Ex-Services League led by Lt. Gen. Balbir Singh (retd), on Thursday left the United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM), the umbrella body organising the protest.

This will, however, not effect the rally of the ex-servicemen scheduled for Saturday.

“We have left the UFESM,” Lt. Gen. Balbir Singh told IANS.

The retired lieutenant general was one of the key negotiators with the government.

Asked for the reason for leaving the group, the veteran said: “There was a meeting today, and the group was reconstituted. We are out of it now.”

“The agitation is for OROP, that has been granted… There are some more anomalies, we will keep protesting for removing those. We will present our views to the one member committee,” he added.

UFESM spokesperson Col. Anil Kaul, in a statement, said the rally scheduled for September 12 will be held as scheduled.

“The Sainik Ekta Rally on September 12, 2015 will be held as planned from Jantar Mantar,” Col. Kaul said.

“During the rally, suitable commendations will be made to those who assisted in ensuring the agitation did bring some results… not all of them on expected lines though,” the statement added.

On Wednesday, the 87th day of the protest, 28 veterans were on the relay hunger strike.