HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Preparations are afoot for the integration of former Maoist PLA fighters into the Nepali Army.
NA spokesperson Ramindra Chhetri told this daily that members of the selection committee tasked with picking combatants eligible for integration into the army recently inspected the site in Bharatpur, Chitwan, where selection is to get underway. This came a week after the selection committee decided to expedite its work.
“A team has returned after inspecting the site for the selection of Maoist combatants,” Chhetri said, adding that the selection will begin soon.
According to Chhetri, the NA has asked the Ministry of Defence to make available the details of Maoist combatants awaiting integration. “We will speed up the entire process once the defence ministry provides us the information,” Chhetri added.
A total of 3,000-odd combatants have been living in Maoist cantonments under the command and control of the Nepali Army, awaiting integration. The ministry will pass on information about individual fighters to the committee once it gets it from the Secretariat under the Special Committee (for supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants).
The SC formed a six-member selection committee comprising mostly of NA officers under acting chief of the Public Service Commission in mid-April, but it failed to convene a meeting due to early retirement of a top NA representative Maj Gen Daman Ghale.