Nepal royals trade blows as snake throne burns

March 5th, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, March 5 (IANS) While the sword hanging over Nepal’s two-century snake throne lowers with a decisive election in April, the royal family has failed to show its best face to the nation and woo voters, says a report. Although just a little over a month is left for the critical constituent assembly election in which people will for the first time choose between the king and a republic, King Gyanendra’s kin is still preoccupied with feasting, drinking and squabbling, Nepali weekly Ghatana R Bichar reported Wednesday.

The royals reportedly involved in the latest scandal were King Gyanendra’s unpopular commoner son-in-law Raj Bahadur Singh, his brother Baj Bahadur and a royal niece, Princess Dilashma.

The tabloid said that Singh, who became known as an opportunistic businessman during the king’s absolute regime and who allegedly misbehaved with his wife Princess Prerana, the king’s daughter, became drunk during a wedding party Monday and beat up his own stepbrother.

The scuffle erupted late at night at the five-star Soaltee Crown Plaza hotel, a favourite haunt of Nepal’s royals and aristocrats, where the Singhs had thrown a party to celebrate the wedding of Baj Bahadur.

As wine, whiskey and tequila flowed freely, the intoxicated groom was said to have picked up a quarrel with Dilasha, the king’s niece, whose father Prince Dhirendra died in the infamous royal palace massacre in 2001.

Baj Bahadur slapped the princess, the tabloid said, triggering an angry reaction from her elder sister, Princess Puja, who took her side and shoved the groom.

The enraged groom would have done more if he had not been stopped by the other guests and pushed outside the hall, the tabloid said.

To calm his nerves, the king’s son-in-law gulped down more liquor and instead of steadying, began a fight with his stepbrother, a man called Harish Singh, the report said.

The news of the royal fisticuff comes soon after another tabloid reported a brawl between the two princesses, Dilasha and Puja, in another posh resort over the sharing of family heirlooms.

At that time, Crown Prince Paras and his wife Himani reportedly stopped the fight.

However, although King Gyanendra and his wife Queen Komal attended the wedding feast Monday briefly and left before the brawl started, the crown prince and his wife were conspicuous by their absence, the tabloid said.

Though the kings of Nepal were revered as divine incarnations in the past, the lesser royals have been a byword for drunken conduct, brawls in public and more.

The latest fight comes at a time Nepal’s government has announced plans to take over the property owned by the royals in excess of the land ceiling prescribed by law.

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