Friday, June 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Dipendra mowed down family: survivor

Kathmandu, June 7
In fateful 90 seconds, it was Crown Prince Dipendra who mowed down King Birendra and eight other royal family members with automatic weapons and but for “heroic” efforts of Prince Paras, son of the new King Gyanendra, the casualties would have been still higher, claimed a survivor and member of the royal family in the first ever eyewitness account today.

A member of the Nepalese Royal family, Dr Rajiv Shahi, who claimed to be  an eyewitness to Friday night's palace killings, explaining the sequence of events to media persons in Kathmandu on Thursday.
A member of the Nepalese Royal family, Dr Rajiv Shahi, who claimed to be  an eyewitness to Friday night's palace killings, explaining the sequence of events to media persons in Kathmandu on Thursday. He alleged that late Crown Prince Dipendra had committed the carnage. 
— PTI photo 

Capt (Dr) Rajiv Shahi, son-in-law of King Birendra’s youngest brother Dhirendra, told a crowded press conference that an inebriated Dipendra darted in and out of the ‘L’ shaped dining hall, causing the mayhem and fired at least thrice at his father.

Captain Shahi said Paras played a heroic role, shielding some women members of the family and pushed them under a table.

“Had it not not been for Prince Paras there would not have been many survivors,” he said and declined to take questions at the military hospital.

He said he himself ducked and finally escaped out of a window.

“It was the then Crown Prince Dipendra who carried out the murders. I do not know what his motive was, but he was just a murderer,” he said, giving a graphic account with the help of marker and a lay-out of the Narayanhity Palace, the scene of the massacre.

An “intoxicated and stuttering” 29-year-old Crown Prince in battle fatigues armed with several weapons, including an M16 assault rifle, killed in “one-and-a-half minute” shooting spree his parents, two siblings and other family members, he said. PTI


ISI behind massacre, says Thackeray
Claims 120 died in shooting

Mumbai, June 7
In a startling claim giving a new twist to the royal massacre in Nepal, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray said today that at least 120 persons, including King Birendra and others, were killed after Pakistan-sponsored militants sprayed bullets on them at a party in Narayanhity Palace in the Himalayan kingdom.

“It was a conspiracy... and gunning down of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, along with other members of the royal family, was the handiwork of Pakistan’s ISI and Pak-sponsored militants,” Mr Thackeray said here in an interview to Shiv Sena’s mouth-piece “Dopahar Ka Saamna”.

“I do not think Crown Prince Dipendra was involved in the killings,” the Shiv Sena chief told party MP Sanjay Nirupam, who is also the Editor of “Dopahar Ka Saamna.”

“According to information received by me, a party was going on in the palace when some terrorists opened fire at them indiscriminately, killing the King and other members of the royal family,” Mr Thackeray was quoted as saying in the front-page report in the Hindi eveninger.

Giving a clean chit to Dipendra, accused of gunning down the royal family members, the Shiv Sena chief said: “I do not think Dipendra was involved in it.

A bullet wound on his back does not support the theory of the Prince committing suicide.”

Mr Thackeray said recent developments in Nepal clearly indicated that the ISI had made its base in the Hindu nation.

He pointed out the controversy in Nepal over certain comments attributed to Bollywood heart-throb Hrithik Roshan and the hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft to strengthen his claim.

India should make efforts to restore peace in Nepal, Mr Thackeray said adding that “if necessary, we must provide them military assistance.”

He also paid rich tributes to the members of the royal family who were killed in the firing last week. PTI 

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