Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"The royal massacre was a conspiracy"

Nepal: How do you look at the massacre?
Bibek Bikram Shah: Two ways. When the massacre happened, Crown Prince Dipendra's psychological state had reached an extreme state. Then there is the political conspiracy with the possible involvement of domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. Back then, I had asked His Majesty (Gyanendra) that this be investigated.

Was it?
No. There was no investigation about who could have instigated Dipendra to carry out the killings or which foreign intelligence agencies could be involved.

Why do you think King Gyanendra didn't want an investigation?
I don't want to get into that now.

You were head of security at the palace. Why wasn't there a proper investigation?
A commission of inquiry was formed at the hospital library at Chhauni after the killings which included the prime minister, speaker of the house and other ministers. A commission was formed, but there was no effort to find the motive.

Why do you suspect that it was a conspiracy?
I can't categorically say there was a conspiracy. But there are too many puzzles and grounds to suspect that there was. In time, they will come out.

In a few years.

So the conspiracists exploited Dipendra's frustrations?
Hundred percent. They could have dangled the kingship and tempted him. It had got so bad within the family that we heard Queen Aiswarya used to tell Dipendra, if he insisted on marrying Deviyani he would be stripped of his crown prince title and it would be given to (his brother) Nirajan. So someone close to Dipendra who understood his deep dissatisfaction provoked him.

To kill his father and mother and become king?
My analysis is that he only wanted to kill the king (Birendra) and become king. He didn't want to harm anyone else. He thought that after he became king he'd have immunity from prosecution and the laws wouldn't apply. That is the point on which others incited him.

So why did he shoot the others?
The first burst of gunfire was aimed at the ceiling to draw attention to himself, then he lets off a burst at the king. When Dhirendra tried to jump him, Dipendra killed his uncle. Then he shot the king again. All this happened in a matter of seconds. After that there was chaos and indiscriminate firing.

If Dipendra did it, why would he kill himself?
He committed suicide.

If he was so drunk and stoned, how could he have done it?
It is not true that he was drunk. He was perfectly sober, and just pretended to be drunk. After killing everyone his sixth sense told him everything was finished. He shot himself in his left temple and the bullet came out of his right temple. The pistol fell into the pond. He was an ambidextrous sharpshooter.

What would the conspiracists have gained from the massacre?
Kign Birendra was about to make a move, the country's situation was deteriorating. Maybe some people didn't want him to take the step he was planning. No one in Nepal benefited from the massacre. Foreigners who wanted instability in Nepal certainly benefited.

What was Birendra planning?
A political move.

Like King Gyanendra's February First?
Hard to say, we don't know what the blueprint was. But King Birendra was worried about the damage being done to the country by the Maoist insurgency. We understood he wanted to bring the Maoists into the political arena.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)