Crown and Sceptre go ''missing'' at Narayanhiti Palace

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Kathmandu, June 7 (UNI) The Nepalese government committee working on an inventory of properties inside Narayanhiti Palace has not found any record of the Crown and Sceptre, media reports said here today.

No one at former King Gyanendra's palatial official residence has informed about the Crown and Sceptre, Kantipur quoted a committee member as saying.

The Sceptre, a golden stick, and Crown were the main symbols of the monarchy in the ancient time.

''The committee has been asking the palace officials about the whereabouts of the Crown and Sceptre ever since it started working on the inventory on May 29. They continued to profess ignorance about the existence of the two symbols,'' the member said.

The committe was in the final stages of preparing its report.

''No one has provided any record of those even just a day before we are to finish the report,'' the member said.

The committee, headed by General Administration Secretary Dr Govinda Prasad Kusum, was due to present its report to the government tomorrow. It was most likely to report about the ''missing'' Crown and Scepter, said the source.

Some other sources said the Crown was the symbol of monarchy and the former king might have kept it with the aim of a comeback.

Former King Gyanendra had expressed his willingness to accept the decision of the Constituent Assembly and vacate the palace within 15 days -- the time given by the government. Mr Gyanendra has been provided with a part of Nagarjuna Palace for use for the time being.

The committee has already informed the government about the ''missing'' Crown and Sceptre. ''But let us wait till tomorrow in case they furnish the records,'' an official said.

When asked why the palace was not giving the committee any records on the two symbols, a senior palace officer told the The Kathmandu Post, ''I have no idea.'' The committee was also going to report to the government that it was denied access to the main palace to prepare the inventory.

UNI XC SKB RN1452

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