Palace says Crown and Sceptre will be handed over to govt

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Kathmandu, Jun 8 (UNI) After dilly-dallying on the whereabouts of the Crown and Sceptre, palace officials have agreed to hand them over to the government.

''Palace authorities will soon hand over the king's Crown and Sceptre to the government committee formed to collect details of palace property,'' local media quoted a palace official as saying.

The palace authorities and government officials held talks today on handing over the Crown and Sceptre, The Himalayan Times reported.

It was reported in some Nepalese and Indian media that the Crown was sold in an auction in London by former King Gyanendra. The palace officials expressed their ignorance to the government committee formed to make records of the palace before turning it into a museum.

''The palace authorities told the government that the Crown and Sceptre were not missing. They pledged to hand over the Crown and the Sceptre to the government committee soon,'' the newspaper quoted a source close to the Narayanhiti Palace as saying.

The crown is believed to be studded with some of the finest pieces of diamond, emerald and ruby. Secretary at the Ministry of General Administration and chief of the committee, Govinda Kusum, confirmed that the Crown and Sceptre are inside the palace.

The committee's deadline expires tomorrow. The government has asked the deposed king to quit the palace by June 12. The Minister for Land Reform Dev Gurung said the government has provided Mr Gyanendra some parts of Nagarjun palace for sometime until the former king found a residence for himself. Gyanendra is the richest man of Nepal.

The Himalayan Times report said the onus is on Gyanendra to convince his stepmother Ratna and concubine of his grandfather king Tribhuvan Sarala to leave the Palace.

''The former king is consulting his family members to convince Ratna and Sarala, to leave the palace premises,'' the paper said.

Mahendra Manjil is the private property of the ex-royals.

According to the report, reluctance of Sarala and Ratna to leave Narayanhiti is delaying the shifting of the ex-monarch from Narayanhiti to the Nagarjun Palace.

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