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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 22:29 GMT
Gurkha claims MoD was racist
Gurkha troops in Kosovo
Gurkha troops in action in Kosovo
A former Gurkha lieutenant has accused the Ministry of Defence of racial discrimination claiming its policy was used to cover up lapses by senior white officers.

Navinkumar Gauchan, 40, from Colchester, Essex, told an industrial tribunal he had been forced out of the Army "in disgrace and humiliation".

He said he had put 20 years of "hard work, dedication and unselfishness" into the military but had been pensioned off when overlooked for promotion to captain.

"I believe the racial discrimination took place in order to gain personal interests of superior officers mainly to cover up lapses on their duties and responsibilities," he said.

'Unfairly dismissed'

He said: "They know Gurkhas are loyal, honest and have a tradition to accept whatever decisons are made for them by the white officers."

Mr Gauchan is claiming that a critical annual report on his performance while a lieutenant with the then Queen's Own Gurkha Transport Regiment led to his being overlooked for promotion.

He has also claimed that he was unfairly dismissed.

But the tribunal at Bury St Edmunds was told that Gurkhas were pensioned out of the Army if not promoted to make space for new recruits.

This arrangement had been accepted by the governments of Nepal, India and Britain in 1947, the tribunal was told.

Keith Morton for the Ministry of Defence said: "There was nothing dishonourable about your discharge."

The tribunal continues.

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See also:

05 Sep 01 | South Asia
Gurkhas sue over pension payments
19 Dec 00 | UK Politics
Gurkha compensation ban angers MP
20 Nov 00 | UK
Gurkha accuses 'racist' MoD
27 Jan 00 | South Asia
Recruiting for the Gurkha regiment
28 Oct 99 | Europe
Benefit boost for Gurkha widows
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