Nepal ex-prince held after gun row

Nepal ex-prince held after gun row

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Nepal's former crown prince was arrested for firing a gun into the air in a restaurant

Nepal’s former crown prince has been arrested for firing a gun into the air after an argument in a restaurant.

Paras Shah, only son of deposed King Gyanendra, admitted firing the weapon but said he could not bear to hear insults against his family and country.

He said that two people in the restaurant at a resort in southern Nepal had made “baseless and provocative remarks against his role and the institution he represented.”

He left the restaurant, returned half an hour later and fired his gun into the air once, without harming anyone or causing damage.

He then fled to another resort in Pokhara, 125 miles west of Katmandu, where he was arrested.

During his years as crown prince, Shah was often criticised for hard partying and brawling. Several street protests were held against him, but he has never faced a criminal investigation or charges.

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, 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 some questions unanswered. Many Nepalis suspect Gyanendra and Shah were somehow involved in the killings.

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.

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