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Ex-Crown Prince Paras gave an interview to the Singapore based The New Paper on Sunday trying to explain the motives behind cousin Dipendra's actions of blowing away the Nepalese monarchy. A combination of frustrations had befuddled the mind: an ill-starred matrimonial proposal, a lucrative gun deal that would not transpire and a monarchy that was withering away due to a calamitous, in his view, inaction of his father. The interview seems to have stirred a hornet's nest with old palace officials like Sanu Bhai Dangol, an un-named retired lieutenant general, a military secretary in the palace who was fired and the Maoist leader "Ananta", et all throwing in their two-bit insight. What is significant here is that the conspiracy theory refuges to go away with the prime minister calling for a new probe commission into the palace massacre 8 years after the incident took place. When the truth is stranger than fiction it challenges credibility.

There are other famous stories which have invited incredulity through significant time spans. The murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family by the Bolsheviks is a case in point. Did the drunk Bolshevik firing squad miss two persons that fateful night? We have read the famous story of Anastasia, how she surfaced in Berlin years after the event claiming to be the missing princess, how she had a striking resemblance to the real Anastasia, her in depth knowledge of the father's household, how the royal family in exile abandoned her and ultimately how she lost the landmark case in a German court which she filed to prove she was the real princess.

Less known is the story of the Crown Prince, Tsarevich Alexei. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the historian Edvard Radzinsky published The Last Tsar with substantial research done in Communist archives hitherto unavailable to unearth discrepancies in the official story. He recounts the curious story of a man in a mental ward in Petrozavodsk around 1947 A.D. who claimed to be Alexei. He strikingly resembled Nicholas I and II. Birth record showed that he was born in 1904 the year of Alexei's birth, he knew intimate details of the Romanov family circle as well as the layout of the Winter Palace, he was a haemophiliac and, most tellingly, he suffered from a condition known as cryptorchidism (one testicle had not descended), a condition the tsarevich was recorded to have.

Two bodies did go missing that night for sure and when the Russians dug up the bodies from the mining pit, later identified as those of the Tsar's family, there were two bodies still missing, one male and the other female. Only very recently the Russians again unearthed two more bodies and have officially DNA-tested them to be those of the Tsarevich Alexei and his elder sister Maria! How surprising this find is in light of the fact that the Bolshevik assassins have officially reported to their superiors that they burnt those two missing bodies that night!

Who can forget the shots fired from the grassy knoll? People who were present on the motorcade route that fateful day of President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas vouch for the shots heard coming from the grassy knoll not far from where the president was shot. The killing bullet actually jerks Kennedy's head back as if the shot was fired from the front; Lee Harvey Oswald inside the book repository was behind the president, so his shot should have jerked the president's head forward! Filmmaker Oliver Stone's compelling probe into the assassination in the form of an engrossing movie JFK starring Kevin Kostner deals with all these anomalies. The central theme of his argument is that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the lone assassin. This conspiracy theory will never rest.

Dodi Fayed's father the billionaire Egyptian businessman and owner of the much heralded Harrod's department store in London will never ever believe that his son and Princess Diana died in a motorcar accident. Indeed, it is quite far-fetched to believe that a driver of the Princess would be so inebriated with alcohol that he would slam full-speed into the supporting column of the Pont d'Alma tunnel in Paris. What happened to the Fiat Uno the Mercedes had grazed before hitting the pillar as the paint was still visible on the side of the smashed car? Why did no one own up to it after such intensive publicity if it was just an innocent commuter who was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Despite a coroner's inquest that lasted for six months and heard testimony from 278 witnesses dismissing the conspiracy theory, there will always be people who believe otherwise.

Fact is many times stranger than fiction. What do Nepalese want to believe happened that nightmarish night? As a nation we are susceptible to hoaxes; rumors fly faster than bullets in our town. Sometimes it is wise to believe the story as it is. Hornets can sting the wrong people too!


  1. Hi Subodh,
    The palace massacre should have been investigated by an independent body [?Scotland Yard] and post mortem done on the bodies instead of hurriedly cremating them at night .
    As there are many witnesses to the massacre and all have pointed to Dipendra as the culprit there is no doubt to my mind that he did it. Stories that someone wearing a mask to look like Dipendra are just too far fetched.
    But as time goes on fact ,fiction and myth merge into one another and I wonder what people will say 100 or even 500 years on.

  2. What do you think is Ex CP's motive behind this interview?

  3. He is pre-empting the possible flak from another probe; no longer do they have immunity.

  4. I don't think Scotland Yard would have been necessary, and why should we kow tow to the Brits? Postmortems were not done, in keeping with Nepali tradition; but I do agree that this tradition should have been broken in this horrendous case. The killing was done by Dipendra, without doubt. BUT who really killed him? Shall we add one more conspiracy to the barrel?


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