Monday, May 4, 2009

Indian Army fears Nepal Maoist

Army fears drive to recruit Gorkha soldiers may be hit

Sridhar Kumaraswami

New Delhi

May 4: The Indian Army is apprehensive that Pushpa Kamal Dahal's resignation as Nepal PM could affect the drive to recruit Nepalese Gorkhas for the Indian Army and also lead to harassment of serving Nepalese Gorkhas when they return home on leave.

"The resignation of Prachanda may make the Maoists more restive and hostile to India. This could lead to fresh roadblocks from the Maoists on recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas and also harassment of the already enlisted Gorkha soldiers when they return home to Nepal on leave," Army sources said. The Indian Army fears the Maoists may try to mobilise public opinion afresh against signing up of Nepalese Gorkhas.

On Monday, the Indian Army monitored Prachanda's resignation speech and got Nepalese Gorkha soldiers to translate it for top Army officers, This shows the strategic importance of Nepal in the Indian Army's scheme of things.

Nepalese Army Chief Gen R. Katawal, whom Prachanda sacked before resigning, is an honorary general of the Indian Army and an alumni of the NDA and IMA.

India had recently initiated a recruitment drive to recruit Nepalese Gorkhas for its Gorkha regiments. Last year, Nepal's Maoists had threatened to stop further recruitment.


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