…..The most drastic event in Nepal’s modern history (this is according to me —- of course ) took place on a warm Friday night on June 1st 2001 , …. i was in college back then… we had our exams scheduled the next day…so unaware of what the day would bring, i was busy studying…
The next morning… someone knocked my bedroom door rather early… and rather more forcefully….to my amazement my mother ,who would usually let me sleep late during my exam times..cause she knew i slept late,…was knocking the door and was so emotional. ….My mother is rarely emotional, we rarely see her cry… but on that day she had tears in her eyes. So when she told me that the entire The then Nepalese Royal family was dead ,i didn’t know what to believe. How could all of them die at the same time ? No- one survived? Not even crown prince Dipendra? Not even prince Nirajan? Not even princess Shruti ? …oh god… The whole family was gone in a heartbeat.What followed then, was that we tried to get news from local TV but there was no news of the incident , there were a lot of calls from relatives abroad and from within Nepal, followed by mumbled whispering, crying and feeling of general sadness all over.Now that i try to remember it ten years down the lane ..it feels so unreal, so sudden, so mind-boggling.
All the exams were canceled , all the school and college were closed suddenly.All the offices were closed .There was chaos all over. People were coming up in roads and openly crying , the incident was the talk of the “nation”, but as i remember the Nepalese national Tv Was silent about the incident for the whole day..it was much late in the evening that they acknowledge the incident .All other cable tv were shut down , even mobile phones connections were turned off.
later on there was news that Dipendra was still alive and undergoing treatment in army hospital, then later he was recognised as king in place of the dead king and a day or two later , he was also declared dead.There was no autopsy done, all their bodies were cremated in a rush off while there was still a curfew amidst the valley .
Few days later there was a press briefing ..(which was very undetailed and unceremonius) detailing who did what, which instruments were used.. without much proof.It was said that the country’s crown prince gunned down nine members of his family including his father and mother in an alcohol and drug fuelled stupor before shooting himself.
Ten years have passed since that fateful night which changed the course of Nepal’s monarchy and led to its end seven years later. But the mystery and conspiracy theories surrounding the massacre are still as fresh as ever.
The incident is still discussed and debated in roadside conversations, at dinner tables, in office canteens and restaurants.
In its 200-page report, the investigation committee blamed crown prince Dipendra of having gunned down his father King Birendra, his mother Queen Aishwarya and seven other members of the royal family during a weekly family get together.The Queen’s opposition to Devyani Rana, the woman Dipendra wanted to marry, was supposed to have been the trigger that prompted the crown prince to take the drastic step.
But the report left many questions unanswered. No post-mortem Autopsy were carried out on the bodies, there were discrepancies in the statements given by the witnesses and doubts regarding the weapons used by Dipendra to carry out the massacre .
More importantly, it didn’t clarify whether the crown prince had shot himself or was killed by someone else. Dipendra was right-handed, but the committee found that a bullet had entered his head from the left side. The crown prince was in coma for three days before succumbing to injuries.
Soon after the incident, the hysterical public saddened and shocked at the demise of their king, who was believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, put the blame of the massacre on Birendra’s younger brother Gyanendra who was away from Kathmandu on the night of the incident.
The fact his son Paras escaped without injuries and his wife Komal survived a bullet wound added weight to speculations. In the past 10 years since the incident, Gyanendra succeeded his brother as the king and eventually lost the monarchy to a popular uprising three years ago-but suspicions regarding his role on that fateful night’s events still linger.
Ten years down the lane people still wonder what really happen inside the palace that day? was the truth told or is the mystery still unsolved….?