I’m victim of political vendetta: Nepal’s nabbed ex-crown prince

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

KATHMANDU - The first member of the Shah dynasty to be arrested by police, deposed crown prince Paras Bir Bikram Shah, has denied firing at an influential minister’s kin and said he was the victim of a political vendetta, a report said.

The 39-year-old, who was arrested by police from the upscale Fulbari Resort in Pokhara city Tuesday for a drunken brawl during the weekend, told the Ghatana Ra Bichar weekly before his arrest that he had neither fired his gun nor issued any statement admitting the act.

In a dramatic turn of events, the tabloid, regarded as sympathetic towards a constitutional monarchy, Wednesday said the former crown prince has spoken to them on the phone from Fulbari to dissociate himself from the shooting and the subsequent statement in which he had supposedly admitted firing a round of bullets in the air after being sorely provoked.

According to the weekly, the arrested former prince told them that he was having dinner with his family at the Tiger Tops wildlife resort in Chitwan Saturday night when a couple of strangers, who were eating at a nearby table, began making “low jibes about Nepal and Nepalis”.

“It was hard to bear it but I controlled myself and warned the foreigner not to say whatever they wanted. I had no idea who those people were,” Paras reportedly said.

The former prince also said that though he was leading his life as a commoner now, there was bias against him.

“Though the state is biased against me, I believe that the gods will protect me in this land of Lord Pashupatinath,” Paras reportedly said. “I also think that Nepalis, who support fair play, will stand behind me in this sad hour.”

Asked whether he had put his father, deposed king Gyanendra, in jeopardy with his escapades, Paras retorted: “It’s not only my father who is facing hardship. I feel all Nepalis are facing hardship due to the conspiracy hatched by a foreigner.”

The weekly also reported Paras as saying that he had not fired in the air or threatened anyone.

“I am going to tell police this,” he said.

Paras was arrested Tuesday after a junior police officer in Chitwan registered an official complaint against him, alleging he had fired in the air after picking a fight with Rubel Chowdhury, son-in-law of Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala.

The arrogant former prince, who had stormed inside a police office in Kathmandu during the last days of his father Gyanendra’s absolute rule and beaten up policemen, tried to stall his arrest Tuesday.

He refused to sign the warrant first and then asked for more time, saying he was unwell and needed the presence of his physician.

He also took time to have a shower and eat, keeping the police posse waiting for nearly four hours.

Finally, he said he would go to Chitwan for questioning but not by road. Saying he suffered from heart problems and high blood pressure, the flamboyant Paras asked to be flown to Chitwan and agreed to pay for chartering a helicopter.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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