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Failed Leaders And Corrupt Nation-VIII

Issue 02, January 09, 2011

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Someone has told Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala on telephone that former Crown Prince Paras Shah known for his notoriously hot temper has almost shot her son-in-law Ruwel Choudhary, her daughter Melini, and her granddaughter at the Tiger Tops Resort in Chitwan on Saturday night, December 11, 2010. Sujata Koirala is in Indonesia on her foreign visit sleeping nicely in her cozy ministerial hotel suite when unexpectedly telephone rings. Nervous Sujata has repeatedly called Home Minister Bhim Rawal on telephone from abroad and has asked him for telling her about what has happened to her son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter but the Home Minister has not been informed about the incident, yet. She urges him to arrest Paras immediately and charge him with the attempted murder. Obviously, Sujata has been not only nervous and even angry with both the home minister and Paras. She is furious with the home minister at not being able to find out what has happened to the family of her daughter, and with Paras at an attempted murder. She knows Paras’ temper very well; Paras can easily do what he wants to.

At the same time, NC President Sushil Koirala has been furious with Paras at accusing his party of playing a crucial role in ending the 240-year Shah rule. Obviously, Paras in his anger has told the son-in-law of Sujata Koirala that the Koirala family and the NC have been responsible for ending the Shah dynastic rule in Nepal according to son-in-law Ruwel Choudhary: a Bangladeshi national residing at the home of mother-in-law Sujata Koirala without extending visa for staying on in Nepal. Sushil has demanded the government immediately arresting Paras allegedly for an attempted murder but actually for saying his party has been responsible for ending the Shah dynastic rule. He has also consulted with other political leaders about taking the possible actions against Paras. He has been disappointed by the inefficiency of Home Minister Bhim Rawal in taking Paras under the police control.

Ruwel Choudhary has married Melanie in 2008. Melanie is the daughter of Sujata Koirala. Sujata is married to a German. So, Melanie is the hybrid of a Nepalese woman and a German. Naturally, Melanie prefers to marry someone different than a Nepali and a German to make another progeny of mixed marriage. As the son-in-law of powerful Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, Ruwel must have shown his muscle to Paras that does not want to see anybody ignoring him not to mention bullying him. Apparently, Ruwel with the power of his mother-in-law must have attempted to bully Paras sending him to immediately grab a gun and shot in the air only warning Ruwel and his family otherwise they would have been knocking the door of Yamraj by now.

For Nepalis, Paras’ such venture is not a new at all. They know that Paras has been a spoiled child and he can do anything he wants to even take a life of any person that angers him. Then, his father manages the damage done by Paras paying compensation to the victim’s family for the loss of life. This has been in the past when Paras and the Shah family have been above the law, and enjoyed everything at the expense of the poor people. They have used the people’s money for their enjoyment and power but now the time has changed. The status of Paras has been not much different from the status of the man on the street except for the huge wealth he has enjoyed by virtue of the Shah dynastic rulers have accumulated for him. So, Paras gets provoked in the slightest annoyance.

After the shooting incident in Chitwan, Paras in his online statement said, “I along with my family, on our way home from Sarlahi and Dhading, had a stop-over at the Tiger Tops hotel and were taking dinner when two foreign nationals reached out to me and started making irrelevant comments on my roles in yesteryears and the institution that I represent.” Paras has acknowledged that he has fired precautionary shots in the air after the foreign nationals have made unacceptable remarks on him, his family and his country.

Paras has been hurt very much by foreigners bullying him in his own land. He has been the crown prince of the land he loves so much. Even though he has gone to Singapore to get relief of the sufferings from the loss of the status of the crown prince after his father has lost the throne to the cranky politicians because of his own wrong doings. He can settle there for living a good and respectable life but he has come back to his own country to face the realities. He has such a huge wealth not only he can enjoy it but also his future seven generations can for their highly luxurious lives. Paras has love for his country but more love for his wealth. So, with all sorts of humiliation he needs to face, he prefers to live in his own land rather than enjoying a lavish life in foreign land. His family and he have been enjoying the holidays at the Tiger Tops when he has confronted with the foreigners but they happened to be the relatives of the Koirala family: one of the powerful political families in Nepal.

The government has formed a three-member commission comprising Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police Ganga Prasad Pandey as the head, and Senior Superintendent of Nepal Police Rana Bahadur Chand and Senior Superintendent of National Investigation Department (NID) Arjun Kumar K.C as the members to investigate the incident of shooting by Paras targeting at the daughter and son-in-law of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala at the Tiger Tops Lodge in Chitwan on the Saturday night, December 11, 2010.

Son-in-law Ruwel and his family also have been enjoying the holidays in the wild life reserve area in Chitwan and have been staying in the luxurious Tiger Tops Resort otherwise they would not have a chance to engage in the confrontation with a one-time very powerful personality in Nepal. Ruwel has been the powerful person working behind the scene on making a huge profit for himself and his mother-in-law Sujata Koirala. He has been playing the role once Sujata has played as a bridge between the contractors and her father in collecting commissions for her father Girija Prasad Koirala while he has been in power. So, Ruwel has been the emerging one where as Paras has been on the wane. But both of them are not willing to step back from their respective position; so, the confrontation between them is the only result.

Under the pressure of the Nepalese media and certainly of NC leaders, the home ministry has issued a statement stating the Chitwan police have already started investigation into the incident of shooting at the Tiger Tops Resort. However, the ministry has stopped short of telling what they are going to do with Paras that Nepalis are afraid of pronouncing it not to mention facing him directly a few years ago when he has been an heir to the throne. The public pressure and the pressure of the NC leaders on the home minister belonging to the CPN-UML have been rising steadily to take Paras in custody following the rule of law and as they do in the case of such incident involving any other common folks.

Instead of taking concrete actions in the field, spokesperson for the Home Ministry Jaya Mukunda Khanal has been theorizing saying the ministry will take actions against anybody found guilty of any illegal act. Theoretically that is fine but in practice the home ministry has been doing nothing when powerful politicians commit crimes even in public. The home minister does not enforce even the court law in the case of the corrupt politicians indicted by the court and sentenced to jail, and does not bother to arrest the criminals even though the TVs show them sitting at the meeting of the political parties.

Deputy Prime Minister’s personal secretary Hari Dhungana has said that Paras Shah has tried to shoot at Koirala’s son-in-law Ruwel Choudhary, daughter Melini and grand-daughter at the Tiger Tops Resort in Chitwan apparently for no reasons. He has further stated that the Resort management has escorted the Choudhary family to another hotel in the nearby district Nawalparasi for their security. He has failed in saying why the police have not arrested Paras and why the hotel personnel have escorted the Choudhary family to a safe destination instead of the police.

Obviously, before the firing incident, Paras has been in the hot discussion with the Choudhary family members exchanging fiery words. Paras has blamed the Choudhary family and the political party of his in-laws in other words the NC for overthrowing the monarchy. The blame placed on the NC for removing the Shahs from power has been unbearable to some extent to Ruwel and his spouse. So, they must have fought back saying something nasty to Paras provoking him to shot in air to cool down his anger at these guys. His family and Paras have been enjoying holidays for a few days only before encountering another powerful family happened to be staying in the same hotel.

The day after the squabble over political matters and threatening to take the lives of the relatives of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, his family and Paras have moved to another luxurious Fulbari hotel in Pokhara: another beautiful and holiday area.

Home Minister Bhim Rawal has spent sleepless Sunday and Monday nights but has not been able to send the police force to capture the big fish that has moved to Pokhara. Political pressure has been mounting on him to arrest Paras immediately. President of NC Sushil Koirala has expressed his disappointment at the Bhim Rawal for failure in capturing Paras saying why the home minister has been delaying in capturing Paras even when he has admitted opening fire. NC leader and former Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula has said that the government has not been able to maintain law and order not arresting Paras. Describing Paras as the spoiled child of a spoiled king, spokesman for CPN-UML Pradip Gyawali said, “This incident has proved that people were wrong in expecting that the former royal will lead a commoner’s life,” ‘Himalayan News Service’ online writes on December 14, 2010. Spokesman for UCPN-Maoist Dinanath Sharma has demanded actions against Paras after investigating the incident saying Paras has been bad even when he has been a crown prince. Paras’ father Gyanendra has said that Paras needs to face the legal actions.

On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, the home minister has sent a large number of police to Pokhara. First the police have cordoned off the Fulbari Hotel where Paras has been staying with his family. The police would have pulled him out of the hotel and put him in the police van and then taken him to Chitwan where Paras has allegedly committed a crime if he has been a common folk but Paras has still some residual power by virtue of being a former crown prince. So, the home minister has ordered the police not to treat Paras rough but handle him with care and politeness in view of the possibility of Paras shooting at the police. The police have taken five hours before taking Paras in a helicopter to Chitwan. Paras has refused to sit in the police van and travel to Chitwan. He rather hires a helicopter personally and then flies to Chitwan. By that time, Paras has already consulted with his lawyers on how he needs to present himself to the police.

The arrest of Paras has provided some cheers to the Nepalis that have not forgotten his misdeeds. He has been responsible for the death of at least four people in the past. He has deliberately run over a singer and killed him. Then, the CPN-UML leaders have taken the issue to the streets. His father Gyanendra has settled the case paying Rs 300,000 to the widow of the singer. Some people have even said that the shooting incident in Chitwan has proved his involvement in the palace massacre on June 01, 2001 beyond doubt.

At the same time, the palace-fed people have protested against the police arresting Paras allegedly for shooting at the son-in-law of Sujata Koirala. A few hundred people belonging to the royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, and Hindu fanatics Shiv Sena Nepal have marched on the streets of Kathmandu, Birgunj, Bharatpur, Nepalgunj and Hetauda protesting against the arrest of Paras boosting the morale of Paras and his father Gyanendra. They have shouted slogans against son-in-law Ruwel Choudhary and demanded actions against him for corruption and engaging in illegal activities in Nepal. They have also shouted that the arrest of Paras has been politically motivated.

Palace-fed people have enforced shutdowns of business in Chitwan and nearby areas, and have blocked the portion of the East-West highways in those areas burning tires. They have also burned down Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala and her son-in-law Ruwel in effigies protesting against the arrest of Paras and demanding his immediate release from the police custody.

In response to the shutdown the palace-fed people have enforced, the Police have taken several key persons in custody and beaten up others to foil their attempts on stopping the regular business in Chitwan and other areas. Despite the police’ attempt to disrupt the protestors blocking traffic, they have succeeded to cause the traffic jam in several areas of the East-West highways. A larger number of travelers including tourists have been stranded for hours on the highways. Protestors have gathered at Basantpur in Kathmandu and held a rally against the arrest of Paras.

At the same time, Paras has petitioned the Chief District Officer of Chitwan district for releasing him on bail for the medical treatment he needs. However, the district administration has refused to release him on bail and has ordered him to stay in the police custody for three days for the police investigation into the incident of firing in air targeting the relatives of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala to complete. Poor Paras has to spend three nights at the police-training center in Chitwan that Nepalis cannot even imagine such thing to happen in Nepal a few years ago. The District Administration has released him on bail of Rs 10,000 on December 17, 2010 after the police have completed the inquiry into the shooting incident thus meeting the wishes of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala and President of her party Sushil Koirala.

Former Crown Prince Paras Shah comes on the limelight of the press on Sunday, December 19, 2010 saying his love for the country has led him to do anything and anybody to preserve the glory of the country. He boasts that he is proud of being a Nepali, and his love for the country led him to the gun-firing incident in Chitwan. However, he has given a different statement to the police in Chitwan. He has thanked people supporting at the time of need.

Another wish of the Koirala family is to strip Paras of the security guard he has been enjoying even after he has been declared a common folk. Seven army men have been providing Paras with security. The Koirala family has put pressure on the Nepal Army to hold an inquiry into whether the army men working as the security to Paras have provide him with the weapon he has fired in the air. The Madhav government has announced that it is withholding the security provided to Paras to meet another wish of the Koirala family.

Paras has broken the record of the Shah dynasty being the first person to be in the police custody. He has also set the tradition of changing his statement. He has said to the police that he has neither fired his gun nor issued any statement acknowledging the incident; he has been the victim of a political vendetta according to the news reports of the ‘Ghatana Ra Bichar:’ a weekly newspaper.

Deputy Prime Minister holding the portfolio of Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala has been spending sleepless night for not being satisfied with the police actions taken against Paras even after the police have arrested Paras and taken the statement from him on firing targeting at her son-in-law, and wants more than that. On December 22, 2010, Sujata Koirala has said that the police need to raid ‘Nirmal Niwas’ means the residence of Paras to seize illegal weapons hidden three so that common folks can live with security according to the news posted on the website ‘’ The irony is that the deputy prime minister has felt insecure for the common folks only after Paras has allegedly fired in the air warning her son-in-law of not hurting the country and him, too. But the government has stopped short of meeting Sujata Koirala’s last wish for raiding the residence of Paras for finding and seizing the weapons allegedly he has kept.

Sujata Koirala has accused the government of failing in providing her relatives with security even though the former royals have been after the Koirala family and relatives to take revenge on them for playing a crucial role in ending the Shah dynastic rule. For example, she has the incident of Paras allegedly shooting in the air targeting at her son-in-law Ruwel Choudhary at the Tiger Tops Resort in Chitwan. However, she has stopped short of saying Paras’ past misdeeds.

Adding to the irritation and nervousness of Sujata Koirala at the countervailing activities of the supporters of the royals, some palace-fed people have held a rally at the airport in Kathmandu on December 18, 2010 to welcome Paras returning from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Paras has flown from Chitwan back to Pokhara after he got released from the police; from there Paras flies to Kathmandu. The royalists have hired a unique Nepalese musical band called ‘panche baja’ for warmly welcoming Paras: their savior. Some of them have held placards welcoming Paras and denouncing Sujata and her son-in-law Ruwel. They have thrown flowers at Paras traveling on the open car. In return, Paras has waved them lovingly. They have also shouted slogans against Ruwel and Sujata waving the national flags to the amusement of Paras.

The police have taken the statement of Ruwel Choudhary at the residence of her mother-in-law Sujata Koirala. By that time, Ruwel has been in defensive. He does not want to talk about the gunshot incident in Chitwan much less filing a case against Paras. He just wants to forget everything and live in peace but the unfolding events show that son-in-law Ruwel and his mother-in-law Sujata Koirala will need to spend a number of sleepless nights in the days to come. Some legal experts have said that the police need to take Ruwel to Chitwan rather than going to his residence for taking the statement on the firing incident. The police have kept Ruwel above the law going to his residence for a statement rather than taking him to Chitwan, as they have done in the case of Paras.

On December 22, 2010, district-level leader of the monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and advocate Daindra Bahadur Thakuri has filed a lawsuit against Ruwel Choudhary at the Supreme Court of Nepal making officiating Prime Minister Madhav Nepal, Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, Home Minister Bhim Rawal, Nepal Army and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ramesh Chand Thakuri defendants demanding an investigation into various illegal activities Ruwel has been involved in during the past several years of his stay in Nepal.

Petitioner Daindra Bahadur Thakuri has appealed to the Supreme Court of Nepal for initiating investigation into the illegal activities of Choudhary, and the government covering up his misdeeds because of he being the son-in-law of Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala. The petitioner has also implicated Choudhary in purchasing substandard armored vehicles and equipment for the Nepalese police sent to the UN Peace Keeping Mission in Sudan. The purchase is of multi-billion rupees. Stating the armored vehicle and equipment are unusable, the UN has refused to reimburse for the purchase the Nepal Police have made. The Nepal Police have used the provident fund of the police personnel for purchasing the armored vehicles and equipment.

At the same time, speaking at a function held in Bhaktapur, NC General Secretary Prakashman Singh has said that if Choudhary has been engaged in illegal activities and has overstayed in Nepal and has no valid visa for staying in Nepal, the government needs to bring Choudhary to justice.

Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, NC and other political leaders have demanded the government to bring Paras Shah to justice; now, the royalists have demanded to bring Ruwel to justice thus turning the tables on Ruwel putting him in defensive. On December 23, 2010, his mother-in-law Sujata Koirala has appealed to the media people not to over blow the shooting incident happened in Chitwan clearly taking the defensive position this time.

On Monday, December 27, 2010, hearing on the case filed against Ruwel, a single bench of Justice Bharat Raj Upreti has served a subpoena to the defendants including the Offices of the officiating Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, Home Minister Bhim Rawal and the police headquarters to come up with clarification on the accusations of Choudhary engaging in the illegal activities such as the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service scam, passport forgery and irregularities in the purchase of armored vehicles and equipment for the Nepal Police sent to the UN Peace-Keeping Mission in Sudan within 15 days.

Holding a press conference at the Police Headquarters on Monday, December 27, 2010, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rajendra Singh Bhandari has said that the police have found Bangladeshi nationals entering Nepal illegally through India have brought both the technology and manpower required for bypassing incoming international calls. They have been involved in the illegal VOIP business in Nepal. The Police have arrested three Bangladeshi nationals on charges of operating illegal VOIP in Nepal. The police have found no evidences for implicating Ruwel in this illegal business so far.

Speaking at the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the Legislature-Parliament in Kathmandu on January 7, 2011, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Nepal Police and Head of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) Rajendra Singh Bhandari has said that Illegal VOIP channels have been causing not only a huge revenue loss to the telecom operators but also posing security threats in the country, as criminals have used VOIP channels in murdering media-baron Jamim Shah and in abducting Dr Bhaktaman Shrestha. The revenue loss to telecom operators reaches Rs 160 million per month, ‘Himalayan News Service’ online reports.

Both former crown prince Paras and son-in-law Ruwel have been bullish. Both of them have enjoyed the lavish lives on the people’s money. Both of them are allegedly criminals and need to bring them to justice. Nepalis have been living in the poverty because of such parasites living on the blood of the poor people.

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