//Mob fury strikes Nepal king

Mob fury strikes Nepal king

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, IndiaEnews.COM

Kathmandu – A minor road accident turned into a scene of mob fury here when one of Nepal King Gyanendra’s staunchest supporters found himself hurt, his car torched and his sons in handcuffs after people realised who he was.

The incident took place Tuesday evening after spectators recognised one of the feuding parties as Bharat Keshar Simha, a retired general of the Nepal Army and a former ambassador to Britain. Simha, who is close to India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also heads the controversial World Hindu Federation, one of the beneficiaries of King Gyanendra’s 15-month authoritarian rule.

Simha was heading for the British embassy in the upmarket Lainchaur area to attend the farewell party of the British ambassador to Nepal, Keith George Bloomfield, when a motorcycle bumped the rear of his car.

Simha was accompanied by his sons Ananta, a former major in the army and bodyguard of the queen mother, and Ajay, a middle man who has allegedly made millions during the king’s rule brokering military supplies deals.

According to reports, Simha’s sons, used to having their own way during the king’s regime, were enraged at the incident though it was a minor one, and began roughing up the motorcyclist.

The incident took place close to one of the most volatile colleges in Kathmandu. Students and people in the area rushed to the spot when they learnt the identity of Simha, who had advocated force to wipe out the Maoist insurgents as well as repress the anti-king street protests.

About 3,000 people attacked the white-haired aide and his sons, forcing them to rush inside a nearby hotel for safety. The enraged mob torched Simha’s car and began hurling stones at the hotel. The anger was appeased only after police arrived and took away Simha’s sons to the police station for questioning.

The sight of the sons in handcuffs helped in calming the mob down. Simha was reportedly hurt on the head and required several stitches.

Last month, after mass protests forced Gyanendra to step down as head of government, Simha reportedly sent an SOS to India’s powerful Shiv Sena and the BJP asking for intervention.

He has also been fighting against the transformation of Nepal into a secular state from the world’s only Hindu kingdom. Under him, the World Hindu Federation campaigned for Gyanendra both at home and abroad, urging Hindus worldwide to support the king’s power grab last year.