Dozens of guests headed for a wedding bash here Saturday landed up at a police station instead after a brush with Nepal's controversial Crown Prince Paras.
About 60 people, including relatives of the groom, had a fright Saturday evening when the bus they were travelling in was reportedly hit by the crown prince's car but the victims were detained at the police station for questioning while the offending vehicle sped away without stopping to see the damage done.
The guests told the Kathmandu Post daily that while proceeding though Chabahil in the capital around 6 p.m., they were told by security forces to pull up by the side of the road to make way for Paras' motorcade.
Rabin Pokhrel, the groom's brother who was among the jolted passengers, told the Post that after a vehicle in the motorcade overtook their bus, the crown prince's car hit the bus and sped away without stopping. According to Pokhrel, the car was driven by Paras himself.
The heir to Nepal's throne has a record for reckless driving and causing accidents. Before becoming the crown prince, he ran over a popular singer and killed him. However, despite public anger, no action was taken since according to Nepal's constitution and tradition, the royal family members are above law.
Though the bus was damaged by the hit, the passengers were not hurt. However, their ordeal was still not over.
The security personnel escorting Paras ordered that the bus be taken to the nearest police station. Police detained the party for three quarters of an hour after which the angry wedding guests began to object. Consequently, they were allowed to go on the condition that they would return to the police station the next morning in the same bus.
Police are claiming it was not the crown prince's car but an escort vehicle that bumped into the bus. Paras was reportedly returning from a golf course. He has recently taken up the game and has been photographed playing with the American ambassador to Nepal, an incident that was criticised by a section of the American press.
When King Gyanendra's 16-month absolute reign came to an end this month after mounting protests and anti-king demonstrations in the nationwide, Paras reportedly fought tooth and nail to stop his father from relinquishing power.
The latest escapade was greeted with anger by residents of Kathmandu, coming at a time a protester, about the same age as Paras, succumbed to police firing.Pradyumna Khadka, 31, died Saturday of a bullet wound sustained while taking part in an anti-king demonstration in the capital last week.
At least 18 people died and over 5,000 were injured in the 19-day protests that forced the king to relinquish power.