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Nepal Army participates in BIMSTEC Drill as observer

Pratigya Waiju

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KATHMANDU—A day after withdrawing its participation from the controversial BIMSTEC joint military exercise, Nepali officials on Sunday decided that Nepal will participate as an observer in drill.

On Friday, following the instruction of Prime Minister KP Oli, the Nepal Army had withdrawn from the military exercise scheduled to kick off in Pune on Monday.

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The Army had approved the schedule to participate in the joint exercise and decided to dispatch a platoon level team to Pune. Newly appointed Nepal Army Chief of Army Staff General Purna Chandra Thapa was scheduled to attend the conclave of the army chiefs of the BIMSTEC member states.

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Dolpa Ward Chairman held on charge of idol theft

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DOLPA — Karma Gurung, Chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality-5 in Upper Dolpa, was arrested on charge of idol theft from Kathmandu. A team of police personnel from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested Gurung from Bauddha in the capital city.

Police said that Ward Chairman Karma was held for allegedly stealing Buddha idols from Rahap Monastery situated in She-Phoksundo Rural Municipality-4.

Gurung, an independent candidate, was elected the ward chair in the recent local level elections but later joined the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after the unification of two communist parties.

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Likewise, Ukren Pasang Gurung, 41, and Pasang Lundup Gurung of She-phoksundo Rural Municipality; Jhyampachhuldim Lama, 41, and Tshering Dawa Gurung, 43, of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality were also held from a special team of CIB.

Asked about the arrest of ward chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dolpa District Police Office Awadesh Bista confirmed Karma Gurung’s arrest on charge of idol theft and added that further investigations were ongoing.

A total of 42 Buddha’s idols were stolen from Rahap Monastery some eight years ago but the locals had noticed the issue just some four months ago.

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