CHITWAN, Sept 24: Altogether 1,388 former Maoist combatants are set to join the Nepal Army (NA) as soldiers by passing all exams and tests.
The selected combatants will take part in a months-long training to be held by the NA from November 21. The actual duration and venue of the training have not yet been confirmed, according to NA spokesperson Ramindra Chhetri. “We will sort out these issues later,” he said.
Only four of the total 1,392 combatants who appeared in an oral test, which was the last step toward integration of former Maoist rebels into the NA, had failed. The secretariat of the special committee formed to oversee integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants had compiled the final results of oral tests from all seven cantonments by late Sunday.
Of the total 1,402 former combatants who became eligible to participate in the last exam by getting through written and medical tests, 10 were absent, according to the special secretariat. The absent combatants include four from the seventh division in Kailali, two from the fourth division in Nawalparasi and two from the sixth division in Surkhet.
According to the secretariat of the Special Committee, 114 from the first division in Ilam, 183 from the second division in Sindhuli, 203 from the third division in Chitwan, 255 from the fourth division in Nawalparasi, 192 from the fifth division in Rolpa, 231 from the sixth division in Surkhet and 210 from the seventh division in Kailali have become eligible to join the NA.
The combatants selected for joining the NA will leave their respective cantonments for once and all on September 27. They will get a 45-day leave before participating in the rigorous military training. “The selected combatants will get their salaries from the day they receive official appointment letters,” said Balananda Sharma, coordinator of the special secretariat.
The secretariat has yet to publish the final results for officers. Altogether 77 former combatants are competing for NA officers. The final results will be published on September 28.
The issue of management of arms and ammunition following the exit of all combatants is also expected to be sorted out soon. “Until a new arrangement is made, all arms and ammunition will remain in different cantonments under our protection,” NA spokesperson Chhetri said. “They will be brought to Kathmandu only after a new decision is made.”
The special secretariat is all set to distribute checks to those combatants, who have been unable to join the national army by failing the medical and oral tests. The combatants unable to join the national army will be given between Rs 500,000 and Rs 8,0000, which they would have been entitled to if they had opted for voluntary retirement.