London/Kathmandu: Britain is to sack another
150 Gorkha soldiers as part of government`s drive to reduce
men-under-arms and the move has raised hackles in Nepal, the
home of the fabled fighters.
British Defence Ministry announced today that it was
pruning the armed forces by another 7,000 men to retain only a
force of 95,000 men in battle fatigues by 2015 and the first
cuts are to be in its famous Gorkha regiment, Daily Mail
The paper said a total of 920 troopers and another 930
air force personnel were being made redundant.
It quoted a senior army officer Brig Richard Nugee as
saying that the cuts to the 3,500 strong Brigade of Gorkhas
was necessary following recent changes in the terms of
services which has placed them on the same footing as the rest
of the army.
But the British Defence Ministry said no ground troops
and air crews involved in the current campaigns in Libya and
Afghanistan were included in the cut back.
The Brigade of Gurkhas has grown in size since terms and
conditions were amended in 2007 to allow soldiers to serve for
a longer period.
The decision would be a further blow to the British
Gurkha soldiers who are fighting in the courts in the UK for
equal retirement benefits as their colleagues in the army.
Reacting to the announcement, Gorkha Association`s Jeet
Bahadur Rai said the British government should not reduce the
strength of the Gurkhas who had served the army for centuries.
Our fight for equal pay and benefits will continue, he