South Asia

Nepal ex-prince Paras Shah arrested over gun row

File picture from September 2007, showing Nepal's Crown Prince Paras Shaha leaving a hospital in Kathmandu
Paras Shah was unpopular among Nepalis for his drunken antics

Former Nepali Crown Prince Paras Shah has been detained by police after allegedly firing a gun during a drunken row in a hotel restaurant.

Mr Shah, who was heir to the throne before it was abolished in 2008, said he had fired a gun because someone had been insulting his relatives.

As crown prince, he was highly unpopular among many Nepalis for his heavy drinking and playboy lifestyle.

The monarchy plunged into crisis after nine royals died in a 2001 massacre.

The Himalayan nation's 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was eventually abolished in 2008 after former Maoist rebels came to power.

'Threats to kill'

Mr Shah had an argument with the daughter and son-in-law of Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala.

The former prince said in a statement that his family had been insulted during the row - although he did not name the people he had been arguing with.

"I fired a shot in the air from my pistol in a fit of anger as I could not bear the insult of myself and the country," Mr Shah said in a statement.

But Rubel Chaudhary, the Bangladeshi son-in-law of Sujata Koirala, accused the former prince of threatening to kill him.

"He said he wanted to take me into the jungle to see tigers, but I refused because it was already late at night. Then he started making threats. He said he was going to kill me, my wife and my children," Mr Chaudhary told the AFP news agency.

Police detained Mr Shah on Tuesday at a hotel in the Fulbari resort at the town of Pokhara, western Nepal.

A home minstry official told AFP he would be charged with using a firearm in a public place.

Mr Shah moved to Singapore with his family in 2008 after the monarchy was abolished.

His cousin, Prince Dipendra, carried out the massacre in 2001 - killing several of his relatives, including the king and queen, before apparently turning his gun on himself.

Mr Shah's father, Gyanendra, became king after the massacre, but his attempt to re-establish an absolute monarchy in 2005 led to widespread protests.

Abolition of the monarchy was eventually made part of a 2007 peace deal with Maoist rebels, who had fought a decade-long civil war.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites