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Nepal's ex-crown prince denies Dawood links

world Updated: Sep 03, 2009 19:17 IST

Nepal's self-exiled former crown prince Paras, who returned home from Singapore this week, has rejected reports in the Indian media alleging a nexus between him and Pakistan-based terror mastermind Dawood Ibrahim.

The 38-year-old, according to the Republica daily, issued a brief statement late on Wednesday, condemning the media reports as "false and malicious". However, it was ignored by Nepal's mainstream media that had ignored the Indian allegations too.

The pony-tailed former crown prince, who told the Singapore media that he was doing his own grocery shopping and cooking in the island state and enjoying it, was said to have been furious when he returned to Kathmandu on Tuesday to spend the Dashain festival with his family and found himself the target of reports saying he was Dawood's partner in a fake Indian currency network.

Paras said he was seriously concerned about the "imaginary and fictitious" reports that were another instance of a "well-orchestrated and condemnable propaganda directed against the sovereign people of Nepal from a foreign land".

The former prince, branded as a playboy and headstrong, said he was leading a "responsible and dutiful" life as an ordinary Nepali citizen.

But he had still been dragged into the controversy by people taking advantage of the political turmoil in Nepal.

Paras also reportedly hoped the state would protect the rights of all the Nepalis, including him, against such defamation.

However, Nepal's government has indicated that it would not be embroiled in the controversy.

Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala said the former royals were now ordinary citizens and it was up to them, and not the government, to refute the allegations.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's media advisor Bishnu Rijal said the government would not comment on matters concerning Paras and his father, deposed king Gyanendra, since both were controversial people.