The incident at the Royal Palace has terrified Nepalis. This is the first time in Nepal's history that a ruling monarch has been killed. The murder of a very popular, peace-loving, democratic and caring member of the Shah dynasty has been hard to accept. But such massacres are not unknown in our history.
In 1904 (1962 BS) Rana Bahadur Shah, to pay the debts he had accumulated while in Banaras, on the advice of Bhimsen Thapa, captured, confiscated and took over land from Brahmins, temples and religious trusts. Many were killed for refusing to hand over their land. Brahmins and Kirats then rose up in revolt. This was forcefully repressed and thousands were killed or exiled.
In 1874 (1932 BS), Lakhan Thapa gathered people in Gorkha in protest against the Ranas, Jang Bahadur in particular. All the protesters were arrested and most, including Lakhan Thapa, were killed. Lakhan Thapa was killed for political reasons and so is considered Nepal's first martyr.
In 1846 (1903 BS), the palace was steeped in conspiracy and there was great political instability. Queen Rajya Laxmi wanted to make her son Ranendra king, and asked assistance from Gagan Man, who was murdered on 31 Bhadra (mid-September). To find the killer, the queen called a meeting of all major courtiers a few days later on 3 Aswin in the Kot courtyard. Jung Bahadur was smarter, and with his brothers' help, slaughtered all the high-ranking people, including Abhiman Singh Basnyat, Fattejung Chutaria and Khadga Bikram, all opposed to Jung Bahadur. Jung Bahadur then was the undisputed leader.
Queen Rajya Laxmi, with her confidant Jung Bahadur, wanted to make her son Ranendra king, but she was unsuccessful. She was angry and hatched a plan to murder Jang Bahadur. She got Bir Dhoj Basnyat and Wazir Singh to organise a party at Bhandarkhal. Jung Bahadur learnt about the plan and using the powers vested in him by King Rajendra, had all his opponents killed. In mid-1846 (end-1903 BS), the queen left for Banaras. Jung Bahadur established himself as a very powerful prime minister.
King Rajendra went with his beloved wife Rajya Laxmi to Banaras, and he also became a strong opponent of Jung Bahadur. He hid four battalions in a place called Aulo near Birganj to kill Jung Bahadur. But Jung Bahadur's army defeated the royal army and the king was captured. The king died in captivity.
1877 (1938 BS) Parba
Jung Bahadur, before he died, had divided the Ranas into different classes. The shrewd Dhir Sumshere, with his sons, defied the order of succession and made Ranadip prime minister. This resulted in major clashes between the families of Jung Bahadur and Dhir Sumshere. King Trilokya Bikram wanted to take advantage of the situation but he died in 1873 (1934 BS). Prince Narendra, Trilokya's brother, sided with Jung Bahadur's family and in 1877 (1938 BS), decided to kill Dhir's kin. The plan failed and Prime Minister Ranadip sentenced more than 20 people to death. Narendra was either exiled or imprisoned. Eventually Dhir Sumshere, with Ranadip, was able to get rid of Jung Bahadur's family.
1885 (1942 BS) Parba
In 1885, (1942 BS), Jagat Jung returned from India. Dhir Sumshere, realising Ranadip was weak and kind-hearted, was afraid he would hand over the office of prime minister to Jagat. He hatched a plan to kill Ranadip. Under the pretext of sending a battalion to Delhi to take part in an army parade, he sent four battalions under Bir Sumshere towards the plains. At night, under cover of darkness, Ranadip was murdered and Bir Sumshere became prime minister. He then blamed Ranadip's murder on Jagat Jung.
Gehendra Sumshere was a scientist and engineer and always inventing machines. He wanted to show his inventions to his uncle, Chandra Sumshere. While bowing to pay his respects to Chandra Sumshere, a revolver dropped out of his pocket. Chandra Sumshere was a very suspicious man. He thought Gehendra wanted to kill him and so poisoned him. Many accused of helping Gehendra were also killed.
In 1920 (1977 BS) Subba Krishna Lal wrote a book titled Makai Ko Kheti (The Cultivation of Corn). He was accused of printing unacceptable words and was arrested. He was imprisoned and died in jail. 999 of the 1,000 copies were confiscated and destroyed.