Kathmandu, Apr. 24 - Nepal Army (NA) Friday refuted front page news stories published by two private sector dailies on a plan of launching what they called a coup saying that the reports were false and misleading.
NA, in a statement, said that its attention was drawn to the news reports about a meeting of Principal Staff Officers at the army headquarters on Thursday and that the reports were fabricated and were a conspiracy to incite a rift between the army and the government.
The news stories, based on insiders’ information about the meeting, discussed the situation obtaining after the government decision to seek clarification from Katawal.
Nepali language Kantipur Dainik and English daily The Kathmandu Post on Friday reported on a ‘soft coup’ as planned by army chief Rookmangud Katawal after his clarification. The other conspiracy, according to the stories, involved NA second-in -command, Army General Kul Bahadur Khadka, who would replace Katawal as part of the Maoist plan.
"The army is devoted to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while remaining committed to democracy," the release stated.
NA’s Public Relations Directorate said that the high command was intact and would remain so and asked the national and international communities not to believe in the fabricated news.
The Post story headlined "What put Maoists on backfoot" said 25 army generals attended the meeting.
It attributed to its "army sources" as recounting later how on Wednesday they came close to mounting a ‘soft coup’ to counter Khadka and the Maoists and how it pushed the Maoists on the backfoot.