Nepal Today

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Army chief denies charges; Nepali Congress backs chief (BREAKING NEWS)

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 April: Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal Tuesday denied defence ministry charge he was challenging civilian authority over Nepal Army and order of an elected governemnt.
The charges were denied in a written reply delivered to the Office of the Council of Ministers by Brig Gen Rajendra Khatri.
The Maoist-led government and defence ministry demanded an explanation Monday within 24 hours.
The cabinet is meeting Tuesday to discuss the reply.
Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said the army chief will be sacked if the answer to the charges aren’t satisfactory.
An emergency central committee of main opposition Nepali Congress concluded the Maoist initiative was an attack on democracy which will be countered by the party.
The party also decided to boycott parliament sessions until the decision isn’t rectified.
The main opposition has backed the beleaguered army chief.
The party has called an all-party meeting to discuss the crisis; Maoists haven’t been invited to the meeting.
Relations between Maoists in government and Nepal Army have soured.
The army challenged in court a government decision to extend the tenure of eight brigadier generals and boycotted the 8th national games after PLA was included in the sporting event after Prime Minister Prachanda included the former rebels combatants after formal inauguration.
Main opposition Nepali Congress has charged Maoists for attempting to demoralize the state army as well.



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