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Former Nepal Crown Prince Paras In Trouble

PTI 13 Dec 2010, 18:55:52 IST
Kathmandu, Dec 13: Nepal's unpopular former crown prince Paras acknowledged Monday that he fired his gun into the air after a weekend argument at a resort.

But Paras Shah, the only son of Nepal's deposed King Gyanendra, defended his action, saying he could not bear to hear insults against his family and country. Reports said, former Prince Paras fired in the air in front of the daughter and son-in-law of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala in Chitwan on Friday evening.

During his years as crown prince, Shah was the target of regular public criticism for his hard partying and frequent brawling. There have been several street demonstrations against Shah, but he has never faced criminal investigations or charges.

Two guests at a restaurant in a resort in southern Nepal on Saturday made "baseless and provocative remarks against his role and the institution he represented," he said in a statement. Shah left the restaurant, returned half an hour later and fired his gun into the air once, without harming anyone or causing damage, he said.

Police and the Home Ministry declined to comment on the incident, which was reported by newspapers in Nepal on Monday.

Nepal's Constituent Assembly abolished the centuries-old monarchy in 2008. Shah moved to Singapore with his wife and children but frequently visits Nepal.

Gyanendra assumed the throne in June 2001 after his elder brother, the late King Birendra, was killed along with his family in a massacre inside the royal palace.

A government investigation was ordered into the massacre, in which 10 people died, but the report was inconclusive and left several questions unanswered. Many ordinary Nepalis suspect Gyanendra and Shah were somehow involved in the slayings.

Gyanendra seized absolute power in 2005, but pro-democracy protests in 2006 forced him to give up his authoritarian rule and restore democracy. Two years later, the monarchy was abolished and Nepal was declared a republic. AP