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Anti-India rebels force Bhutan's prince to abandon studies

Shyam Bhatia in London | November 06, 2003 02:04 IST
Last Updated: November 06, 2003 02:17 IST

A Bhutanese prince has abandoned his studies at Oxford University and returned home concerned at the growing influence of anti-India rebels in the southern parts of the country.

Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, the second son of Bhutan's reigning monarch Jigme Singye Wangchuck, was a first year student at St Peter's College where he had enrolled to study history and politics.

His older brother, 23-year-old Crown Prince Jigme, recently completed his M Phil at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning home to Thimpu.

Last week, Jigyel he shared with friends his concern that the mountain kingdom was being destabilised by anti-India rebels, who have established bases in the bamboo forests of southern Bhutan from where they launch attacks in neighbouring India.

Having joined Bhutan's armed forces earlier this year, before coming to Oxford, Jigyel has decided that defending his country from insurgents is his priority.

Both brothers have told their friends at Oxford that they are concerned by the swelling ranks of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

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