Chennai, Oct 30: Days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered to stop all protests and assembly of people at the historic Jantar Mantar area, the officials of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Police on Monday demolished tents and makeshift structures set up by ex-servicemen protesting there demanding implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
The retired veteran soldiers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital city or the past more than two years. They are demanding implementation of OROP schemes for armed forces. While the agitating former servicemen alleged that the action was “an attempt to throttle our voice in a democracy”, the Delhi Police denied use of any force. Major General (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is among those spearheading the protest at Jantar Mantar, the wife of an ex-serviceman was inside the tent when the exercise was carried out.
“They also took away our equipment and other stuff like beddings at around 8.45 am. We have been protesting peacefully demanding implementation of the OROP scheme. It is an attempt to throttle our voice in a democracy. And, even if there has been any order from any tribunal, there is a way to do things. What they have done is completely unfair and unjust,” Satbir Singh told PTI.
Claiming that nobody was hurt during the exercise, the Delhi Police said the protesters were informed about the NGT order in advance and asked either to leave or bring a stay order from the court. “The OROP protesters were informed about the NGT’s order about vacating the Jantar Mantar area and asked to either leave or bring a stay order from the court,” a senior police official was quoted as saying.
The NGT had on 5 October banned all protests and dharnas around the historic Jantar Mantar, saying such activities violate environmental laws. The green panel had also directed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to remove all temporary structures, loudspeakers and public address systems from the stretch of the road. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Monday also directed the Delhi Police to file a compliance report on its order to stop all protests and assembly of people at the Jantar Mantar.