After facing flak from the public and media in Nepal over the "misuse" of the Nepal Army after its generals and senior officials received Bollywood actors at the international airport last week, the Nepalese prime minister's office has now sought an explanation from the defense ministry, local media reported on Monday.
A Nepal Army general had received Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha at the Tribhuvan International Airport, while senior army officials had received actor Malaika Arora, both of whom had been invited for a charity show organised by the Nepal Army Wives Association, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Several complaints were reportedly launched on the government grievance redressal hotline "Hello Sarkar" about the Nepal Army's "misuse for receiving the Bollywood stars," the report said.
Nepal's PMO issued a letter to the defence ministry demanding answers over the issue, Pradhinna Upadhyay, under-secretary at Hello Sarkar, was quoted as saying. Defence Secretary Mahesh Dahal reportedly vowed to investigate actions of the senior Army officers.
However, a spokesperson of the Nepal Army reportedly dismissed any wrongdoing on part of the personnel, claiming it was normal procedure.
"The welcome by the army personnel was a normal incident," the spokesperson told the Press Trust of India.
The two Bollywood stars had arrived in Nepal to perform at Tundhikhel, the army's parade ground, for the event. Sonakshi Sinha tweeted that she was "overwhelmed by the welcome given to me by Nepal!"
The controversy comes at a time when relations between India and Nepal are said to be frayed. Earlier this month, Kathmandu cancelled Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari's visit to India and recalled Nepali ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay, though both were reportedly related to domestic issues.