Gurkha's 40-year battle to clear name goes to the High Court
Saturday 18 July 2009
A former Gurkha who has spent 40 years fighting to clear his name after he was thrown out of the Army is to take his case for race discrimination to the High Court.
Maitalal Gurung, 60, has found documents which he says prove he was punished for daring to question the British Army's treatment of Nepalese soldiers in the 1960s. He wrote to his commanding officers, accusing the Army of racism.
Mr Gurung, who has moved from Nepal to Carmarthen in Wales to bring his case before a judge, said his dismissal stopped him working and ended his marriage. The law firm Howe and Co, which helped Gurkhas win the right to live in Britain, has agreed to support him. "I was upset by the way I and some of my colleagues were being treated," he said. "I was a bright student who had been approached by the British to join the Army when I was 14. I had been earmarked for officer training [at Sandhurst] ... but then they changed their minds without giving me any reason."
He wrote to his commanding officer setting out his grievances and then found himself being arrested and marched out of the Gurkhas training depot in Malaya. He was then escorted on a train to Singapore and flown to Nepal.
Mr Gurung was told he had simply been made redundant but he said he had found a letter stating he had been discharged for "disciplinary reasons".
He had been told that was a "mistake" and had been corrected. But Mr Gurung believes his case has been covered up.
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