Kathmandu: Nepal`s new Army Chief Gen Chhatra
Man Singh Gurung, who received training at the prestigious
Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, assumed office Wednesday,
becoming the first person from this country`s indigenous
tribes to ascend to the top post.
57-year-old Gurung took over as the chief of the
95,000-strong Nepal Army from his controversial predecessor
Gen Rukmangad Katwal, whose three-year tenure has expired now.
Gen Katawal had hit headlines after the previous Maoist
government decided to sack him in May, but the move blocked by
President Ram Baran Yadav, forcing then premier Prachanda to
President Yadav administered the oath of office to Gurung
at a special function at the presidential palace `Sheetal
Niwas`, according to Nepal Army Headquarters sources.
For the first time, the post of the Army Chief has gone
to a member of Nepal`s indigenous tribes. So far it was held
by the elite classes like Ranas, Thapas, Shahs and Chhetris.
Gurung, who has received training at the Indian Military
Academy, also became the first Army Chief to receive the
insignia from the President in the Republic Nepal.
His predecessor Gen Katawal had received the insignia of
Army Chief from the then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala
when the country still had Monarchy.
The Cabinet meeting of August 22 had decided to recommend
to President Yadav to promote Gurung to the post of Army Chief
effective from September 9 when Katwal`s term expired.