Prachanda bids 'emotional' farewell to PLA bodyguards

Kathmandu: Nepal Maoist supremo Prachanda bid an "emotional" farewell to his bodyguards from his former guerrilla force PLA following a deal to end the dual security for the top leaders of the ex-rebels.

"I thank all of you for the vigilance that you have shown throughout your stay with me," UCPN-Maoist chairman was quoted as saying by nepalnews online.

Acknowledging their hard work, an emotional Prachanda wished the over four-dozen People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatants well in future at a farewell programme yesterday at his residence in the capital.

"We have been together for the last 10 years and we ate food in the same plate. Having to part with you has made me emotional," a People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatant quoted Prachanda as saying.

Even as they were ready to follow the party’s decisions, the PLA combatants felt the party now considered them "redundant".

However, Prachanda explained the larger interest for the nation amid efforts to push forward the stalled peace process in the country.

"I have taken the risk for peace. I am the chairman of the largest political party and it is the responsibility of the state to make arrangements for my security," a leader quoted Prachanda as saying.

The end of the dual security for the Maoist leaders is part of a deal to push forward the 2006 stalled peace process in the country.

The Army Integration Special Committee (AISC), which is tasked to look into issues of the integration of the former Maoist combatants into the security forces, has decided to remove Maoist personnel from the security of senior Maoist leaders.