A BASINGSTOKE Gurkha on the 12th day of a hunger strike outside Downing Street has been taken to hospital.

59-year-old Dhan Gurung was taking part in a protest in London to call for Gurkhas who retired before 1997 to be given the same pension rights as British-born soldiers.

He was eleven days into the strike when he was rushed to hospital, according to reports.

Mr Gurung suffered a minor heart attack, according to the MailOnline.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed to the Mail it was called out to Downing Street last night.

They said: "We were called at 5.54pm yesterday to reports of an incident on Downing Street, SW1A.

"We sent an ambulance crew, who treated a person at the scene and took them to a hospital."

Speaking to the PA news agency last week, Mr Gurung, protesting from his wheelchair near the gates of Downing Street, said: “When I retired from the British Army, my pension was £20 a month, whereas my British counterpart received £400 or more.

“What a trick by the Government; it makes me hurt still.

“There are 5,000 veterans in Nepal living in poverty. They are working in dangerous, difficult and dirty jobs to feed their families.

“It’s been difficult here, last night the police came here and said we could not do this. It’s harassment again.

“They came and harassed another time and dismantled all of our gazebos and pushed the ladies here, my wife, holding them and grabbing them – it’s unacceptable.”

The Gurkha men, recruited from the rugged Himalayan country of Nepal, have a reputation as hard and loyal fighters, and are known for the trademark curved kukri blades they carry sheathed on their belts.

Around 200,000 Gurkhas fought in both world wars, and they have also served in places such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those who served from 1948 to 2007 were members of the Gurkha Pension Scheme until the Labour government of the time eliminated the differences between Gurkhas’ terms and conditions of service and those of their British counterparts.

Serving Gurkhas, and those with service on or after July 1 1997, could then opt to transfer into the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.

The change was brought in after an amendment to immigration rules in 2007, backdated to July 1997, meant more retired Gurkhas were likely to settle in the UK on discharge, whereas the previous pension scheme had lower rates as it had assumed they would return to Nepal where the cost of living was significantly lower.