Army’s Naya Sabuj Battalion was not created by a UML-led government

Sujit Mainali / February 28, 2017

Nepal Army soldiers.

CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel made the following claim during an interview on ‘STV Chat’ aired on Sagarmatha TV on February 18, 2017:

“So far as the issue of recruiting Madhesi youths in the Nepal Army is concerned, a separate battalion [for Madhesi soldiers] was created in the Nepal Army when the CPN-UML was leading the government.”

South Asia Check has examined whether Pokharel’s claim is correct or not.

Naya Sabuj Battalion was set up on June 11, 2006 for the youths of tarai origin. This battalion exclusively comprises youths from Madhesi, Tharu and other communities of tarai origin. This battalion is now deployed in Okhaldhunga district. (Source: Brigadier General Bijaya Kumar Shahi; Ethnic units in Army, Inclusiveness and Reservations; Sipahi, Year 44, Issue 45)

But at the time of the creation of the battalion, the Nepali Congress party was leading the government and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala was the prime minister and defense minister.

Therefore, CPN-UML General Secretary Pokharel’s claim is incorrect.

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