Adhikari is the Maoist combatant to reach the highest position in Nepali Army following the integration of the Maoist PLA into the national army
KATHMANDU, Sept 19: The government has halted the retirement of Colonel Yam Bahadur Adhikari of the Nepali Army. The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has extended his tenure for three years in a special post to prevent his retirement.
Yam Bahadur Adhikari who received the highest rank (Colonel) while accommodating Maoist fighters in the Nepali Army, was due to retire on September 18.
When the Maoist combatants were integrated into the Nepali Army, Yam Bahadur Adhikari received the highest rank (Colonel). He had to retire from September 18, but the previous cabinet meeting sent a letter giving continuity to his service in army headquarters. "In the received letter, it is mentioned that his term has been extended by creating a special post in Brigadier General for a period of three years," said Nepali Army Spokesperson Krishna Prasad Bhandari.
The government has written to the Ministry of Defense and given continuity to Colonel Adhikari’s service. Despite the announcement of the Council of Ministers' decision, the extension of his service term was kept confidential. Communications Minister Rekha Sharma, who also serves as the government's spokesperson, did not disclose the extension of the military personnel's term. Although the military personnel should have retired four years ago, he was prevented from retiring by creating a special post during the UML-Maoist government.
Even though his tenure ended in July 2019, the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli promoted him by creating a special post based on the provision that a military personnel can be promoted as Brigadier General once according to the military regulations. At that time there was a joint government of UML and Maoists.
The four-year period extended by the then Oli government would have ended on September 18, i.e. Monday, if the present government had not made special arrangements. He was expected to go on a month-long vacation before his term ended on Monday. But he was coming to the office without taking leave. At the same time, following the provision that the term can be extended for another three years based on the military regulations; the government appointed him to the post of Brigadier General.
The letter was sent to the defense ministry before the ending of his term on Monday after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal left for the US on Saturday. He became the highest-ranking officer among those who were integrated into the Nepali Army from the then People’s Liberation Army. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General by the cabinet meeting held on September 18, 2019.
The government had created a special post and promoted the military personnel to Brigadier General. According to sources in the army headquarters, his post should be automatically terminated from September 18 after his four-year tenure. "Since he has a special post, he should have retired automatically, but in his case, it was found that the special post has been extended," said an official of the Nepali Army.
He became a Lieutenant during the integration that took place after the rebel Maoists came to the peace process. Shortly thereafter, he became a Colonel. At that time, the military officers said that he may have been promoted to convey a positive message when the peace process was ongoing. Because he had not completed the 'Higher Command Course' required for becoming a Brigadier General. Military sources claim that he has not completed that course even now. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the Chairman of the Maoist Center, proposed to extend his term. Cabinet sources said that Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka did not respond to the matter.
"On the Prime Minister's direct proposal, his special post was retained for three years," said the source. According to sources, a special post can be maintained once for four years, but if the term is extended again, a special post should be created rather than a general one. “Once a special post is created, one’s term automatically ends upon expiry and no one else can be promoted to that post,” said a Nepali Army officer.