KATHMANDU, Nov 8: Families with more than one member in the Maoist PLA stand to receive handsome amounts of money if they opt for voluntary retirement in the course of management of the combatants.
Many families have more than three members in the Maoist army, which is awaiting management under the recently-signed peace deal, it is learnt. PLA chief Nanda Kishor Pun, top PLA commanders, division commanders and vice-commanders have more than three members each in the former rebel army.
PLA chief Pun´s family has four PLA members and they can expect over Rs 2 million if they all opt for voluntary retirement. But the family has decided that Pun and his youngest son Deepesh, a PLA company vice-commander, will take voluntary retirement while his eldest son Femash, a PLA company commander, and his nephew Saiman, a PLA company commander, will join the Nepal Army. The youngest Pun will get Rs 0.6 million as his retirement package but confusion persists over how much the PLA chief will get for choosing voluntary retirement.
"My father and I are going to opt for voluntary retirement while Siman and Femash are to be integrated," said Deepesh Pun when asked about the family´s decision on their future. They are currenty all working on the staff of the PLA chief.
Similarly, four members of PLA Third Division Vice-commander Uday Bahadur Chalaune´s family are also in the PLA. His wife, younger brother and sister-in-law are members of the 19,000-strong PLA. The brother and sister-in-law are both company commanders and can expect Rs 2.4 million if they opt for voluntary retirement.
The Puns and Chalaunes are not the only families with more than three members in the PLA. Basudev Ghimire, vice-commander of the Fourth Division, has also four family members in the PLA.
Ghimire´s wife Radha is a battalion commander as is his younger brother and sister-in-law. The Ghimire family will get Rs 2.4 million if they decide to retire.
Similarly, Vice-commander of Sixth Division Durga Prasad Chaudhari, whose wife and brother are company commander and battalion commander respectively, can expect Rs 2 million if they choose voluntary retirement.
There are also other ´PLA families´ that can expect an attractive sum under the rehabilitation package. First Division Vice-commander Ram Babu Thapa´s wife is battalion vice-commander and his brother is a section commander. Similarly, Fifth Division Vice-commander Raj Bahadur Budha´s son and daughter-in-law are both combatants.
Altogether eight members of the Budha family are in the PLA. If all of them opt for voluntary retirement, they can expect a lump sum of over Rs 4 million.
"When someone joins the PLA, other members of the family tend to follow to escape hostile attention from the army and police, and matrimonies once they are within the PLA further increase the family sizes", said Second Division Commander Suk Bahadur Roka Magar, whose three family memers are also in the PLA. His daughter and son-in-law are both combatants.
Both Third Division Commander Dhan Bahadur Maski Magar and his wife Sirjana, a brigade vice-commander, are in the PLA, and so is Seventh Division Vice-commander Birendra Budha´s wife Mahanata, also a brigade vice-commander. Likewise, Brigade Commander Bibek´s wife Birangana is a brigade vice-commander. Kamala Naharki Sapana, brigade commander of Krishna Sen Memorial Brigade, Sainamaina, Rupandehi, is the wife of Bikalpa, a battalion vice-commander.
Likewise, there are many married couples among the PLA combatants in the cantonments. Purna Pun, brigade vice-commander of Forth Division Jhyaltungdanda, Nawalparasi is married to Ram Ji Thapa Magar, brigade commander of Third Division, Shaktikhor. If they take voluntary retirement, they will get Rs 700,000 each.
Kalpana Mahara, brigade vice-commander of Sixth Division Surkhet, is the wife of Ramesh, brigade commander, Fourth Division Jhyaltungdanda, Nawalparasi.