Regrouping work concludes at PLA’s Shaktikhor camp; number of combatants opting for VRS reaches 5,480
The second round of regrouping conducted by the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) has concluded at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s Third Division Camp at Shaktikhor in Chitwan on Monday.
Altogether 1,587 of the total 2,414 former Maoist combatants kept at the Third division at Shaktikhor went for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) during the regrouping process.
With this, 5,480 former Maoist combatants have opted for voluntary retirement in all seven Maoist divisions till Monday evening.
In the second round of regrouping process which commenced at all the PLA division on April 8, the 9,705 former Maoist combatants who had earlier chosen integration into the Nepal Army were given a second chance to choose between integration and voluntary retirement.
Although a majority of Maoist combatants at the Third division had opted for integration in the first phase of regrouping work, majority of them have opted for voluntary retirement in the second round of regrouping 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.
Former Army General Balananda Sharma, the coordinator of the AISC Secretariat survey team, said all the Maoist former combatants who chose voluntary retirement have been provided with cheques and discharged from the cantonments.
Combatants opting for voluntary retirement will be provided with cheques in the range of Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 800,000 depending on their rank.
The second round of regrouping work is expected to conclude today.
Sharma had on Sunday said that many more combatants that remain in cantonments might choose voluntary retirement over integration into NA during the ongoing voluntary retirement process of the PLA.
With the new development, it has now become 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. Nepalnews.com