Charles Sobhraj ties the knot

October 10th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Oct 9 (IANS) On Thursday, when Nepal celebrated the culmination of its biggest Hindu festival Dashain, non-Hindu Charles Gurmukh Sobhraj too had a reason to rejoice after tying the knot with his 20-year-old Nepali fiancée Nihita Biswas after a tumultuous courtship marked by media glare and controversy.“It was a simple and short traditional Nepali wedding,” said Nihita’s elder brother Vijay, who was present in Kathmandu’s Central Jail along with their mother Shakuntala Thapa, who is also defending the 64-year-old groom in his current court battle against a 20-year jail term for murder.

Sobhraj, 65, met Nihita, a high school student, earlier this year when she had visited the prison to offer her services as an interpreter for his French lawyer.

“It was love at first sight,” Sobhraj told IANS.

The engagement in July triggered a media stampede, with many accusing Sobhraj of trying to create a smokescreen while he attempted a jailbreak.

Though the couple had earlier decided to stay engaged for the time being and get married in Paris only after he was released, they changed their mind on the eve of his hearing coming up later this month.

“However, they still have to go through other formalities,” Vijay said.

The marriage, performed without the presence of a priest is not likely to be recognised in Nepal.

In any case, Sobhraj being a French citizen now, they would have to marry again in Paris.

Sobhraj has also been mulling a court marriage. However, it may not be immediate since courts are closed in Nepal due to the Dashain festival.

Sobhraj was arrested from a Kathmandu casino in 2003 and charged with the murder of an American tourist, Connie Jo Bronzich, in 1975.

He denies the accusation and is fighting the life imprisonment, with the hearing coming up in Nepal’s Supreme Court on Oct 19.

Nihita says she is confident her husband would be released since he was framed by Nepal police without a shroud of evidence to convict him.

However, if the Supreme Court turns down his appeal, she says she will continue to stand by his side and take his case up in the International Court of Justice.

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