Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who Killed Nepal's Royal Family?

By Manuwant Choudhary

Nine years after Nepal's royal massacre its still not clear who killed the royal family and everytime a new book arrives on the subject there are new aspects to the story not known before.

At the time of the massacre the story was that crown prince Dipendra killed his entire family because his mother was opposed to his desire to marry Devyani Rani.

Now the Times of India reports a new book "Maile dekheko darbar" (The Palace As I Saw IT) written by a former palace military secretary General Bibek Shah, says it was Dipendra who pulled the trigger on that fateful night but that he could have been incited by foriegn powers.

By foreign powers he means India.

The General writes that King Birendra was in talks with a German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch to procure their G36 assault rifles and India was opposed to such a move because India wanted Nepal to buy theiir inferior INSAS rifles. King Birendra also wanted to set up an arms unit to assemble the German-make weapon and compete in South Asia.

Off and on - Paras, son of former King Gyanendra, who is also a suspect in the royal massacre and most Nepalese don't like him, has said Dipendra had a dispute with his father and there were `cuts' involved as different arms manufacturers compete for the deal.

Gen Bibek Shah also says that India trained Nepal's military at Chakrauta in Uttaranchal and they also trained the Maoists at Chakrauta.

So was India playing a `double game'?

He claims he was removed by King Gyanendra when he came to know of this fact.

The TOI report doesn't talk about Devyani Rana at all.

A tragic love story, nine years later, does not figure in discourse over the Royal massacre.

Most Nepalese do not believe that Dipendra killed his own parents.

In July 2008 a palace soldier Lal Bahadur Lamteri said that he saw Paras arrive at the palace with a man (wearing a Dipendra mask) and its the masked man who killed the entire royal family before shooting Dipendra (who was in his private quarters in a drunken state). According to Lamteri Dipendra had six bullet wounds in his back and one on head but the doctor who treated Dipendra in the above documentary says Dipendra had only one bullet wound in his head which meant suicice or homicide.

There is no unanimity or certainty on who pulled the trigger. Does one believe the General or does one accept the soldier's eyewitness account?

But as facts tumble out and as Paras yet again opens fire at Tiger Tops nearly hitting Sujata Koirala's son-in-law...its clear that there was a lot at stake in Nepal and all stake-holders tried their best to make the most of it - including India.

But the royalty is history yet Nepal doesn't yet have a proper government or even a constitution.

Its people continue to suffer.

The mystery only deepens.

Nothing on WikiLeaks, yet.

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