The Military Coup That Wasnt

UWB Note: The Nepal Army today issued a statement strongly refuting the following report (and the one appeared in today’s Kantipur) as “imaginary and illusionary.” “We would like to let the general public know through this statement that the unified and disciplined Nepali Army is working according to laws and the chain of the command and will remain so. The Army that is in continuous service for the freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of the motherland remains committed to democratic norms as always. We appeal the public and the international community not to believe on the news report that is published with ill intention of brining division between the government of Nepal and Nepali Army.”

Generals of Nepal Army had made plans of ‘soft coup’ to tackle Maoist’s plan to dismiss the Chief of the Army Staff General Rookmangud Katwal.

By Akhilesh Upadhyay

It sounds surreal, reads like a page from a nail-biting thriller.

On Thursday (23rd April), 25 generals were present at the meeting of Principal Staff Officers at the Army Headquarters. The agenda was a serious one: Maoists are in a larger mission than to eliminate Nepal Army. They were out to derail the peace process and destroy Nepali democracy. And something had to be done to stop that.

It was PSOs and Valley commanders first meeting after the Maoist-led government issued a clarification letter to Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katwal.

The meeting started with DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) Gaurav Rana, saying that this was a historical moment and therefore it called for a frank discussion. “We are facing a tsunami and we must stop it,” he said. “The virus which is trying to destroy the Army is in this room.”

Himalaya Thapa, who heads the No. 1 Brigade added, “The root of the trouble is here. We must look for it and get rid of it.” A number of other generals also spoke at the meeting.

All the ire was vented against Lt. Gen. Kul Bahadur Khadka, who remained silent right through the meeting. Khadka, second in command in the Nepal Army, is the supposed Maoist choice to succeed Katawal.

At last, it was Katawal’s turn. He said, “We should not let politics enter our house. We should stop this tendency to knock on the politician’s door for promotion.”

For the first time, Lt. Gen. Khadka found himself completely exposed in front of the generals and the Nepal Army establishment, said a senior Army officer recounting Thursday’s event.

He and other Army officers recounted to the Post late Thursday how on Wednesday they came close to mounting a “soft coup” to counter Khadka and the Maoist plan. The threat, they said, pushed the Maoists on to the back foot.

This is how the plan was. Maoist leaders, ministers and other selected individuals would be arrested. Former king would be put in Nagarjun Palace in “line arrest.” Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and a number of other leaders would be cut off from the public.

Singhadurbar, Baluwatar, YCL and Maoist offices, the Ministers’ Quarters at Pulchowk would be put under ‘siege.’ At the UN-monitored cantonments, the arms containers would be guarded, but the PLA combatants would not be harmed and would be allowed to leave the cantonments for home or for foreign employment. UNMIN monitors would be put in helicopters and flown to Kathmandu. “They would be treated with dignity,” said an Army officer.

“It was a plan that just was not a military coup,” said the officer. “I don’t want to disclose the exact timing of the move. Such things are always kept secret.” There were hints that the “soft coup” would have taken place possibly in the wee hours on Wednesday.

All this started after the prime minister demanded Katawal’s resignation on Sunday. By Monday, insiders say, Katawal seemed enthused by a renewed confidence. “By then he had received strong backing from India and he felt emboldened. For our part, we gave him a lot of moral support,” said another senior officer. “We told him ‘don’t worry. We will get the support. We proposed a coup. We had no time to lose. Losing time meant the Maoists would get Katawal.”

Having listened to all the calls from Army officers, Katawal finally said, “That’s not the right way to go about it. He suggested that the best way to move forward would be through the confines of the statute.”

It was important for Katawal to take the president in confidence. “India played a crucial role to establish the link between the Army and the president,” the officer said.

“We were not the planners for presidential rule,” said the officer. “We were involved only in the military side of the operation.” An official with the president’s office said, the president was under tremendous pressure from the Army to react, adding: “But we were not pushing for presidential rule.” The pressure on the Army was huge, said the officer. “Maoists and Kul Bahadur were using each other to execute their plan. Kul Bahadur would be made the chief as soon as Katawal submitted his clarification. The plan was to get rid of Katawal by any means. Even by killing or abducting him, or putting him under house arrest. Making Kul Bahadur the chief by hook or crook.”

According to the officers, Kul Bahaudr had submitted a plan to the Maoists months in advance and they liked it. The Army chief would get a 35-year service period; others 30- year period; all 19,000 Maoist combatants would be integrated in the Army; PLA commander Nanda Kishor Pun “Pasang” would be made Major General and many others would get brigadier positions; there would be no new entries in the Army for a while; and 50 percent of the Army would be used for development work.

Kul Bahadur, according to the officers, had also lobbied with the Maoist-led government not to give the eight generals (whose retirement has been temporarily stayed by the Supreme Court) extension. Kul Bahadur, they added, also gave the generals the impression that the Army chief was unsuccessful to defend their case with the Defence Minister.

Upadhyay is the editor of the Post where this article appeared today.

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40 thoughts on “The Military Coup That Wasnt”

  1. if this story is true, i can not support it ……………………….
    after the coas is retired, in a few months, he should give answers- what happened there, was it really necessary, and so on and on ………………………… i do not know what the rule says but all army can do is disobey wrongfull, ill order of govt. protect public from armed criminals …………………………………. they should not arrest unarmed public …………………………………… is army in a position to coup just because generals wish ,, what about other officials …………………… army personnels need to be tought moral values, they should be delegated emergency rights ……………………………… if there is a problem, they are suppose to provide security to public figures not to keep under custody .. ………………………………………………

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  2. how did maoist get agend inside the army , if it is true the no. 2 should be kept under observation ……….. maoist are evil and do not have a tiny brain , they have no idea what the chain reaction means ………………………………………………………………………………….
    after all this……… there is no way PLA commandors can be let into army……….. they shoud be given few crore each if they cooperated give them some kind of peace award and tell them to stay away from security individuals for at least 15yrs, if they do not follow rules, they should be arrested of conspiring coup ………………
    ………………….. war is better than letting them into army ………………………………………………………… why are dumb maoist trying to destroy career/future of PLA …….
    ……………………………………………………. if this is true … army should be kept away from maoist and the defence ministry , pm sould be stripped away from maoist, ……………………………………………………….. TU incident occured just at the right time ……………………
    …………………. what would happen if maoist/terrorist take over nepal

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  3. maoist are hatching conspiracy ………………………. everybody beware ………………………………….. this is all because we did not respond to their crime, insult, threat ….. properly …………….. it’s time to show who is pro and who is not.

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  4. The plot thickens… sadyantra bhitra sadyantra…

    I read the article on kantipur as well but I am wondering about the reliability of the report. I am skeptical of journalistic integrity & standards. I need proofs. The allegation of a “soft coup” in the making is an omnious sign for Nepal.

    What I found intriguing is the allegations made about the Gen Khadkha, the 2nd in command. If he was striking a deal with the Maoist leadership to gain the top position then we are not in a “naya Nepal.” Its still the same old Nepal of nepotism & patronage. We just replaced an autocratic monarch with a Maoist dictatorship. Gen Khadkha’s back room dealings would have removed the last pillar of check & balance against the Maoists strategy of capturing the state. It seems Pres Yadav gave timely advice & used his constitutional mandate to diffuse the crisis.

    I was/am hoping for a non-aristocratic lineage, Gen Gurung to be the Army Chief but in the bahun bad dominated Maobadi ideology, a class/caste less structure is just mere sloganeering!

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  5. The Maoist want total state capture and want to make Nepal into a 2nd North Korea if not Cambodia under Khmer Rogue. Maoist know only how to destroy and not create. Prachanda, Baburam and also Gyanendra should be tried in Hague for mass murder of 13,000 people. The so called Jan YUDHA has pushed Nepal backwards by at least 20 years. Federalism will only sow animosity. What we need is some leader like Lee Kuan Yew or Mahathir Mohammed who will take Nepal towards progress and Development.

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  6. I am no fan of military rule, but this would have been a lesser evil compared to Maoist dictatoship. Maoist leader must be captured and eliminated, that is the only way out of current crisis.

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  7. Ram Kumar, you are right, Prachanda and the gang should be tried in Hague, or they should be prosecuted under Belgium, or Spain’s universal jurisdiction law of crime against humanity.

    Just google Universal jurisdiction, it seems that it is still possible to prosecute this criminal gang.

    Like

  8. The sun does not shine , the earth does not go around the sun -and Poudel says there will not be a military coup in Nepal

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  9. Maoist should be exiled
    No one can disturb army. NA here to protect our motherland. Maoist are distroyer PLA is virus

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  10. we averted the coup by this blog thats all for today i am fine how about you?
    Which does not mean the thinking people want to eat with chop sticks every day.
    Baburam knows prachandra knows we all know. And if the holy army is good let them save old ladies.
    Kangarou did not go to court.
    This country neeeds to look at history our history.
    When all are collectively harassed and still we cannot set up even a little restaurant or cyber cafe for some survival paisa stuff the world how long all have to live in exile?
    Anyone sane in their minds left Nepal. Not because Terai or this that but not because we support government it is not a fkjhkjhkl mess.
    and not going to get any better looting and so on being in the rise.
    The only solution is convert to buddhism anyone remebers he was also nepali. ghurhkha ha ha.sorry

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  11. The answer is to disband the Army. We are in a New Nepal, we need a New Army, so disband both the old Army and the PLA. This is the best solution.

    Deva

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  12. Every year New Nepal ……..
    Every day New Nepal ………………………
    We saw all parties including Maos…………………….

    Only rule left is ARMY…………………………………………..
    Maos foolishness is providing that opportunity…………………….

    Welcome to New Nepal

    Jay Nepal

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  13. the picture we are looking at could just be a tiny picture ……………………… what maoist is planning could be really big ………………….. it is likely that their plan is …………………………………. their inside man in NA would eliminate oppositions in NA and ……….. PLA and YCL are to eliminate political leaders, civil society members, judges ………. …………………………(k p oli was saying he got information that some of the member of govt. are bringing in arms and ammunition, he used to be in home ministry so he must have some kkind of connections) ……………..
    ………………………… and we all know maoist are cold killers …………………………………..we all have come to know maoist have already have penetrated NA, APF and nepal police so it would not be hard for them to coup if their man would have been Coas ………………..
    ………………………… every one needs to be careful at this time ………………………… how maoist were able to make a fool out of some UML ………. ……………. are they involved too ……………………………. army and home ministry needs to investigate…………………………………… somebody with the excess to information should gather all the clues and draw picture …….

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  14. Rajendra Pokharel, Germany, thanks for your information . U are close to Belgium or spain ,why u not start those process yourself ? Dont show dream to other do yourself man. Dont think money is everything , do smt for nation. we are with u.

    Best of luck

    Suman mukhiya
    bagbazzar
    Kathmandu

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  15. if this is true kul bahadur should be court marshalled with dishonourable discharge. if it is true he is a disgrace to the army.

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  16. Read the latest news. “Ambassador Sood returns to Kathmandu after hectic consultations with Indian politicians. The PM and Jhalanath Khanal told not to sack the COAS.”
    Does this sound like the “NEW NEPAL”? I hope not. We are now just an adjunct to the Federation of India! This is NEW NEPAL.
    Cheers!

    Deva

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  17. Call it lack of critcal analysis or foresight- these “revisions” were in the card of Maoist long before it came to head couple of days ago and continuing. Dream to be nobel lurate or President overshadowed tell-tale sign and pipe dream of peace process. As nation is tearing at seams- there seem to be hope among the stakeholder (only politicians, activitists and party cadres) that they will see it through and protect their turf & perks even if it means compromising the very nation BUT they are walking on a think ice. We all know what is wrong, who are at fault and what really needs to be done- its just a matter of time before Bajes starts singing to tune of different drum- their god given talent or avrice that borders on insane.

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  18. Mao and UML are waiting for SOOD instructions. So don’t panic….anyway it’s a New Nepal…

    Until and uless they obey the instructions of Delhi Durbar, they can stick to power otherwise they should be thrown out like a Gyanendra…

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  19. It is Sood now, tomorrow it will be Masood, then the next day Myshoe. These day are “days of the shoes”. Wonder when they will start hitting the bull’s eye!

    Deva

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  20. Thinking from a view point of a common Nepali….I have suspicion over all ………kantipur, Nepalese army, maoist and India……………..

    A general public who just suddenly reads the news of coup in a site or a newspaper is sceptic about everyone involved……

    why should maoist do such if katuwal is retiring in some months time?????

    why are we puppet in the hands of India, so helplessly????

    why an elected government and army of same country are skeptic about each other.????

    If the story is not true, I don’t trust kantipur much????
    why are political parties fighting each other????they all have same aim>>progress of Nepal and nepalese……although the ways of achieving it may vary….

    These are my initial thoughtful reactions………

    Is goverment of Nepal responsible towards me to answer this ….to me and all other common layman of country????

    Jay Nepal

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  21. Maoist Plan Foiled…

    What would maoist gain from relieving Katwal??

    Once Katwal goes out and Kul Khadka takes over and military intregation happens. It is likely that the maoist will implement 30 years service term in Nepal Army. Meaning all the Major General and Brigadier General in Nepal army will have to be releived. Once all of them are releived, Pasang and his brigade commanders who are only few days or month of service in Nepal Army will control the entire Army. I wouldnt be surprised if they relieve Gen Kul Khadka citing that his name has been implicated in Rayamajhi Report, paving for Pasang to be the new COAS.

    Well folks im sure with Maoist COAS and Brigadier General in control of Army, and good raise of salary to lower ranking army “no wonder Baburam is holding NPR 24 billion worth of Budget” the country will evolve into a maoist state.

    Before media talking about “soft coup” from the army, I would suggest media to make depper analysis forsee the Maoist Coup of the state in making.

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  22. maoist are saying no to gurung as new coas, what has gurung has to do with this or he happens to be the main card for maoist ……………………….. looks like katawal is just a show tooth, gurung is the real deal for maoist ……………………………………………….. terrorist have started to play politics, conspiracy against army ……….
    ……….. i wanted maoist to lead the govt. so that they will be exposed not to help them in coup …………………….. so time has come to change govt. …….. time for no confidence vote ………………… avoid war but remember …………… war at this time would be better than war in future (after they capture army) ……………….
    ………………………………………… maoist are hatching conspiracy……………. …………………………..

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  23. EVIL society which was sleeping deaf during all the
    atrocities of Maos have now waken up.

    They are now giving instruction to parties and the prez.
    and campaigning for the criminals.

    What a shame

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  24. Why every organization is politicalized in Nepal?
    We are just an ordinary citizen, We need peace.
    Army must always away from the politics.
    If anybody try to influence the army in any way then it will be really bad luck for Nepal.
    We are not supporter of anybody neither katwal nor khadaka nor gurung,Army have its own way and its own management……….so whoever comes at power we Nepali respect that man but must come from army organization not a political appointment.Political influenced army we don’t want……….any respected politician please keep army away from your dirty politics……

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  25. It’s all Khadka’s plan to make Maoists look like fools. Khadka is retiring one month prior to Katwal. Khadka could become C-in-C only if Katwal is fired. So the game began. Maoists never liked Katwal. So they thought Khadka has a good plan for army integration. But they didn’t know that Khadka was looking for his own welfare.

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  26. It’s really unfortunate that our national army is involved in the messy world of politics. But i really don’t see any other way the army could have taken. The freakishly annoying meddling defence minister, the autocratic prime minister and the helpless supreme commander…. what could army do other than what it did ????? the denial of the defence ministry to extend the terms of the eight generals, the inclusion of PLA in the national games after the opening ceremony, n now this .. they want chief’s head … n who the hell do they this they are ? a Masaya send from the stars or something like that … they do whatever they want n the rest of us will take it like that …
    I don’t support any kind of regime .. i believe in democracy like millions of us … .. but seeing the situation .. if i had to chose between two evils …i rather go with the lesser evil … i hope the rumours are true..
    JAI NEPAL

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  27. Maobadi jasto India Dalal, RAW ko agent bata kehi huncha bhanera aash garnu nai haami Nepali ko murkhata ho.
    Jun party le 8 barsa India ko support ma India mai basera Nepal ma aandolan garyo, Delhi ma basera aru party sanga milera India ko aadesh ma Nepal ma Rajtantra birudha hindi ma lekhiyeko 12 budhe samjhauta garyo ra ganatantra ghosana garyo,40 lakhs Indian lai Nagarikta badyo, janamat sangraha bina desh lai ganatantra, sanghatmak saasan bhandai Nepal tukrune India ko swartha pura garna lagiraheko cha, Nepali lai jaati ra bhasa ma rajniti garera grihayudha ra jaatiye narasamhar tarfa ladaicha,
    jun party le India ko isarama pashupati ko pujari, Greater Nepal jasto rastrabadi document lai Nepal mai pradershan garna bata rokcha, testa paltu kukur haru bata ke aasha garne??????????
    Jaya Nepal, Jaya Nepali

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  28. It is imminent that Major General Gaurav S.J.B. Rana is leading the coup with the blessing of Bharatiya Janata Party.

    Like

  29. Hello Rajendra Pokharel, I am with you too. Lets file case against him in Belgium. I will everyrthing I can to help prosecute this criminal .

    Like

  30. …….what r we waiting for ……..? still we are doing same as what those criminals, ruling the country are saying………………. NEPAL ARMY is only the part left in our country that thinks better for Nepal……….we r always in a road beliving the CRIMINALS……………..ARMY CHIEF please accept my SOLUTE………JAI NEPAL,

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  31. Rajendra Pokharel and Ram Kumar ! Lets imagine and make fulfil our wish to procecute P.K. Dahal (Dalal) Prachanda alias name of death to International Court. If that jurisdiction works effectively I m ready to support this project. Furthermore, I believe that these types of agenda and information has to come forward more then we explinning here. Lets write and aware more people on this !

    Like

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