KATHMANDU, April 19: Nepal Army (NA) has formed a six-member committee to select PLA combatants who have opted for integration into the national army.
The committee is headed by chief of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Kayo Devi Yami. The others on the committee on NA Major General Daman Ghale, Director of NA’s Recruitment Directorate Colonel Prakash Kumar KC, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Defense Debendra Sitaula, Brigadier General Dhani Das Karki and Colonel Ganga Gurung.
NA has sent a notice regarding selection committee to the Special Committee Secretariat.
What has surprised many is the presence in the selection committee of PSC chief Yami and Major General Ghale. Yami is coincidently the sister of Hisila Yami, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s wife, while Ghale is the brother-in-law of the army chief and is retiring from the army in three weeks.
Earlier, PSC member Tika Datta Niroula used to represent the PSC in NA’s recruitment process. But this time Yami showed special interest and nominated herself to lead the team for selecting the former Maoist combatants.
Sources at the NA said senior army officers are unhappy over Ghale’s nomination to the selection committee.
“It does not make sense to nominate an army officer who is officially retiring in three weeks’ time and who should be going on leave within a week as per NA tradition,” said a senior NA officer.
He said that since Ghale heads NA Military Operations, an important post, it is unclear why he should be nominated to the selection committee.
This is not the first time that Ghale’s name has come into controversy. Army chief Gurung’s proposal, earlier rejected by the Defense Ministry, to add another lieutenant general to NA’s hierarchy was seen as an attempt by Gurung to promote his brother-in-law to that very post.