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Prachanda blames India for Nepal’s palace massacre

world Updated: Jan 10, 2010 21:22 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Giving a fresh twist to a nine-year-old mystery, chairman of Nepal’s opposition Maoist party Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has now blamed New Delhi for the Narayanhiti Palace massacre that wiped off King Birendra and most of his immediate family.

The former prime minister’s remarks at a Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) function on Saturday and carried as the lead story in the party’s mouthpiece Janadisha adds to his recent outbursts against India at public rallies and inside parliament.

Prachanda suggested that the massacre was orchestrated by India as Birendra was planning to buy arms from China instead of the southern neighbour and had initiated a dialogue with the underground Maoist rebels who were waging a civil war at that time.

“Birendra’s youngest brother Dhirendra was in touch with us and we were to start direct talks with him within a month with the request to abdicate his throne and become the country’s first president. He was killed in this backdrop,” the UCPN (M) chairman said.

He also blamed India for the death of former Communist Party of Nepal (UML) general secretary Madan Kumar Bhandari. “Birendra and Bhandari were killed as they refused to surrender to India,” said the UCPN (M) mouthpiece.

King Birendra, his wife Aishwarya, crown prince Dipendra and five others were killed in the infamous massacre on June 1, 2001. A commission of inquiry by the government later held the crown prince responsible for the act.

He allegedly killed his parents and others for opposing his marriage to a girl who was not of their choice. Communist leader Bhandari on the other hand had died in a car accident in 1993.

Prachanda also surprised many on Saturday by claiming that he has been receiving death threats after the UCPN (M) decided to fight for ‘national independence’ and continue with its agitation to restore ‘civilian supremacy’ leading to an indefinite general strike from January 24.

Addressing a public rally on December 22, he had blamed India of interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs and accused it of forming and dislodging governments. A charge he later reiterated inside parliament.