The ex-servicemen from Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula owing allegiance to different associations gathered at a Sikh shrine in Sohana carrying black flags, anti-government placards and raising slogans against the Modi government.

The protesters were stopped by a heavy police force by barricading the road which led to the venue where Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is scheduled to inaugurate an institute. The demonstration is held at some 2 kms away from the venue.

Sounds of 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan...we are not beggars' echoed in the air during the protest. "We protest against the NDA's failure to implement OROP and want to register our anger against the Centre by showing black flags to the minister for his failure to implement the scheme," said Brigadier (Retd) Harwant Singh, representative of the United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM).

"The Defence Minister has often mouthed platitudes for soon implementing OROP but has not given a firm date when that 'soon' would arrive," he added. Parrikar is on a visit to Mohali for the inauguration of 'Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute', set up by Punjab government to impart specialised training exclusively to female aspirants across the state to join the Armed Forces in the country.

"Our anger is not against any person but against the government's policy of enormous delay in implementing OROP. We will remain peaceful and disciplined during the said demonstration," he said.

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