It seems corruption is going unchecked in the Nepal Army. Transfers and promotions all seem to be based on a sackful of cash. Two colonels, accused of corruption and crime and not yet cleared of any charges, have been promoted to general.
Four years ago, recently promoted General Hem Khatri's battalion was responsible for the looting of a public house on 3 September 2003. Two taxis were also seized and fake numbers painted on. One was used as a taxi and the other was used privately.
On 26 May, after complaints from the victims, YCL and a mob manhandled Khatri at Jawalakhel and presented him to the police. The army prosecuted Khatri but according to the Nepal Army Crime Division's General BA Sharma, Khatri was cleared of all charges after investigation.
These corrupt soldiers who steal and loot from the public, use fake licence plates and take confiscated goods for their own use, are promoted instead of prosecuted. This shows just how corrupt the Nepal Army really is.
Khatri, engaged in illegal activities ever since he was a major, has always been shielded by those above him. It is understood that Khatri, who is a close friend of General Kul Bahadur Khadka, was promoted after pleasing first daughter Sujata Koirala. Khatri has also been engaged in various illegal smuggling activities.
Another general who was promoted is Ajit Singh Thakuri. It is public knowledge that four years ago Thakuri kidnapped a Maoist girl from Dhangadi and held her like a prisoner in his home. Kept like a domestic servant, this girl was set free just this year. The army lied to the United Nations, the Human Rights Commission, the Red Cross and various other human rights organisations for four years and refused to arrest Thakuri. The girl wasn't even on the list of disappeared people.
Ever since COAS Ruk Mangat Katuwal came to power, he has been finding new ways and establishing new rules to promote corrupt people. Even the defence minister, Prime Minister Girija Koirala and his daughter Sujata Koirala seem to be involved in this promotion process. It is common knowledge in the army that large sums of money change hands in order to make some people very happy and get
other people the promotions they desire.