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Army chief to visit Nepal with curtailed delegation

delhi Updated: Apr 03, 2012 23:21 IST
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Army chief Gen VK Singh is scheduled to embark on a two-day visit to Nepal on Wednesday with only a few aides as the defence ministry has curtailed the size of his delegation.

The General's wife Bharati Singh, who was initially supposed to travel with him, will not accompany him now.

Gen Singh is scheduled to take part in a regional disaster management and counter terrorism seminar being held in Kathmandu on April 5 and chaired by the Nepalese army chief.

Last month also, the defence ministry had cancelled Gen Singh's four-day visit to Israel citing the prevailing political situation in the west Asian and Middle East.

The stay and size of the delegation for the visit was curtailed as it was for a seminar only and not a bilateral visit by the chief, sources said in New Delhi.

The army chief had proposed to stay in Nepal till April 8 after the conclusion of the seminar on April 5 and there was no requirement to stay there beyond the duration of the seminar, they said.

He is now scheduled to visit Kathmandu on Wednesday and return on April 6, they said.

After the General lost his battle on the age row in Supreme Court in February, the defence ministry and the army chief were mired in fresh controversy over Gen Singh's claims that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe and he had informed defence minister AK Antony about it.

The relations further strained after the leakage of a top secret letter from the army chief to the Prime Minister on poor state of preparedness of the forces for which the political parties had blamed Gen Singh.