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Manisha's family at loggerheads in Nepal

The bollywood starlet's family is sorely divided over support to Nepal's King Gyanendra.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 13:26 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Sorely divided among themselves over support to Nepal's King Gyanendra, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala's family has hit the headlines again with her father supporting the monarch and her uncle being sent to prison for defying him.

Shashank Koirala, a renowned physician as well as younger son of late BP Koirala, Nepal's first elected Prime Minister, was arrested by security forces on Wednesday for leading an anti-king demonstration in the Gongobu area in Kathmandu valley.

Gongobu had turned into a virtual battlefield between hundreds of protesters and security forces after someone fired at the crowds, reportedly from the house of a senior police official in the area.

Koirala, who was recently elected senior leader of the Nepali Congress party, headed by his uncle, opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala, led a protest march in the troubled area on Wednesday, vowing that the police officers responsible for the attack would be brought to book.

While police arrested him and other protesters, halting the march, Koirala's elder brother and Manisha's father, Prakash Koirala, pledged support for the king and branded the protesters "terrorists".

Speaking to the state-run Nepal Television channel on Wednesday night, Prakash Koirala, who was made a minister by the King last year, said the anti-king protests that had erupted since April 6 were being controlled by the Maoist insurgents.

His cousin Sujata Koirala, daughter of Girija Prasad Koirala and Manisha's aunt, is in prison, having been arrested during a demonstration last week.

After the protests began last week, Manisha flew down to Birgunj in southern Nepal to attend a conference hosted by a controversial organisation, World Hindu Federation, where the royal takeover was hailed anew by the King's loyalists.

First Published: Apr 13, 2006 13:26 IST