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Army, Maoist PLA move to recruit members

Prashant Jha


Both claim they are only filling vacancies

Breached of the peace accord, claim Maoists


Kathmandu: Following the Nepal Army's call for applications to fill 3,434 positions, the Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced its decision to recruit members in its ranks on Tuesday.

Dismissing a writ challenging recruitment in the Nepal Army last week, the Supreme Court had held that the issue was beyond its purview as it dealt with the Comprehensive Peace Accord and should be referred to the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC). Chaired by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the JMCC has representatives of both the Army and the PLA.

The Army had advertised for the positions on Monday.

On Tuesday, Maoists followed suit claiming they felt this was necessary as the government had unilaterally interpreted the Supreme Court verdict and breached the peace accord.

PLA deputy commander and spokesperson, Chandra Prakash Khanal ‘Baldev' said at a press conference, “Nepali citizens above the age of 18, who are literate and want to serve the country are eligible to join. They should contact any of the seven divisions of the PLA.”

Numerical strength

The divisions are presently spread across the country in U.N.-monitored cantonments.

Both have claimed they are not engaging in fresh recruitment, but only filling vacancies. While the Army has said it will not go above its numerical strength at the time the peace accord was signed, the PLA has argued that it can recruit up to its original strength of 31,300 — the number of individuals who had registered in the cantonments before UNMIN verification brought down the PLA size to 19,602.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Baldev said, “There cannot be different rules for the NA and PLA. If the NA postpones its decision, we can consider doing the same. The real solution to the problem is an agreement on integration and its implementation.”

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