Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, amidst criticisms from the members of parliament, presented insignia to the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Rukmangat Katuwal on Sunday. Leaders of UML and other political parties were not present at the ceremony held at the National Planning Commission Hall .
Talking to journalists after receiving the insignia, newly appointed Katuwal said he is committed to loktantara and he will fulfil the responsibility entrusted to him by the government of Nepal. "I will not to anything against the spirit of democracy," he said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers criticized the government for appointing Katuwal, who they alleged played important role to suppress April's pro-democracy movement, to the top post of Nepal Army.
Speaking at Sunday's session of the parliament, they accused the government for neglecting the people's aspiration by appointing Katawal, just when the high-level probe commission is investigating his role in suppressing the April movement. PM Koirala was not available for comment.
Lawmakers Bharat Mohan Adhikari and Lila Mani Pokhrel commended the decision of the Rayamajhi Commission to summon the king for interrogation and demanded that an Act to penalize those involve in suppression of Jana Andolan II be tabled in the house.
Maoists and human rights activists have been protesting the appointment of Katuwal, saying the appointment will promote the culture of impunity in the country as Katuwal was involved in rights violations.