Kathmandu: The Maoists-led government on Friday
agreed to set up a new unit in the Nepal Army to facilitate en
masse recruitment of the Indian-origin Madhesi people, a key
part of a deal that helped Baburam Bhattarai win the support
of five Terai-based parties in the Prime Ministerial election.
"As per the constitutional provision to develop Nepal
Army as a democratic, national and inclusive institution, a
fresh recruitment process would be initiated as part of the
plan to form a separate unit for the identity of Madhesi
people," Finance Minister Barsa Man Pun was quoted as saying
by Kantipur online.
The government announced to set up the separate unit for
"bulk integration" of Madhesi people in the army.
Nepal`s Terai plains are home to about half of the
country`s 30 million people, and the residents of the region,
known as Madhesis, have long complained of discrimination by
the country`s hill communities.
The pro-Terai parties argue that people in the
Madhesi-dominated southern plains have long been treated as
second-class citizens in Nepal, where hill-origin elites
dominate politics, the security forces and business.
The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the
alliance of five Madhesi parties that is the fourth largest
political force in parliament, and the UCPN (Maoist) had
agreed on a deal to form the separate unit for the Madhesi
community so as to develop the army as an inclusive
The recruitment of 10,000 people from the Madhesi
community living in the Terai-plains bordering India has been
a long-standing demand of the UDMF, the main coalition partner
of the Maoist-led government.
The Bhattarai-led coalition has agreed to immediately
start the process of recruiting 10,000 Madhesis in the Nepal
"With a view to creating a separate Madhesi unit in
the Nepal Army and to implement the plan to recruit 10,000
Madhesis in the army as per the constitutional provision of
making the Nepal Army democratic, national and inclusive in
character, the government will immediately begin the process
recruiting the 10,000 Madhesis in the army," according to a
relief programme announced by the government today.