Hyderabad: On Monday, a group of veterans Indo- Pak wars of the 1965 and 1971 urged President Ram Nath Kovind to extend them medical facilities and applicable pension as per their and years of service. They said they feel “let down” by the Army and also the union government over non fulfilment of their long pending demands. They also alleged “ The Army informed us that our case is pending with the Ministry of Defence and it has been dragging its feet”.
On the other end, L Pandu Ranga Reddy, (75) representing ‘Voice of War Veterans’ said that around 12,000 youth joined the army as Emergency Commissioned Officers in 1962, following an appeal by the Indian Government to the youth to join the force. Of them only 160 were still surviving across the country. Later he said “ We fought both the 1965 and 1971 India- Pak wars and were later released (retired as captains) from the army without any pension and medical benefits. We have been urging the army for the past 30 years to extend medical benefits. Most War veterans are septuagenarians and are suffering from old- age ailments”.
The war veteran, 81 – years old N S narayana said that the Adjutant General’s Branch had sanctioned their request for medical benefits, but it was rejected by the Medical Services Branch on the plea that non – pensioners are not eligible for medical treatment.
One of the veterans also alleged that the government utilized their services while they were young and had now “left them in the lurch”.