Increasing number of Maoist combatants choosing retirement over integration into NA
The number of former Maoist combatants choosing voluntary retirement in the ongoing retirement process of the PLA that started last week has increased as expected.
Altogether 9,705 combatants had chosen integration during the regrouping process last year and were kept at the PLA cantonments. But when they were given a second chance to choose voluntary retirement since Friday last week, 4,080 Maoist combatants have opted for retirement and left the cantonments with their pay-checks.
According to Balananda Sharma, coordinator of the secretariat of the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC), there remains only 5,625 combatants in the cantonments and many more among them might choose voluntary retirement over integration into Nepal Army in the two days that remains in the ongoing voluntary retirement process of the PLA.
The new development makes it clear that the number of combatants who will join NA will be far less than 6,500 as set by the seven-point agreement signed by the parties on November 1.
Reports said the enthusiasm among the combatants to join the NA has waned due to problem seen in rank determination, selection committee, period and nature of bridging course for new Maoist recruits that is sure to complicate and lengthen the integration process. nepalnews.com