SYNOPSIS OF THE HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ROYAL PALACE INCIDENT
Unofficial translation taken from Nepal Home Page
and the Nepali Times
In the course of collecting facts about the incident that transpired at Narayanhity Royal Palace the night of June l, 200l, the high level committee carried out an observation of the site of the incident, collected physical items and materials and subjected these to scientific tests, and interrogated eye witnesses, those affected by the incident, and royal guards as well as individuals involved in the relief work and doctors involved in the treatment. Besides this, inquiries were made with individuals where this was thought necessary on the basis of facts that came to light from people with whom inquiries were made in the course of the investigations, and necessary records and documents were sent for from places concerned. From investigations made on that basis the following facts have emerged:
In keeping with the tradition of regular family gatherings held at Narayanhity Royal Palace on the third Friday of every month, such a gathering was organised on Friday June l, 200l also. His Majesty King Birenda Bir Bikram Shah Dev, Her Majesty Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, Her Majesty Queen Mother Ratna Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah and His Royal Highness Prince Nirajan Bir Bikram Shah were present at the gathering held at the Tribhvan Sadan of Narayanhity Royal Palace as were all the 24 invitees including other members of the royal family and royal relatives, except Her Royal Highness Princess Prekchhya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, Kumar Sri Mohan Bahadur Shahi and Raj Kumari Bimala Singh, according to a letter of the principal secretariat of His Majesty the King dated June 8, 200l. The names of the invited guests are given in appendix.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (hereafter HRH the Crown Prince) arrived first at the venue of the gathering at Tribhuvan Sadan at 7.30 pm, it is confirmed by royal ADC Gajenda Bohara and waiters. Thereafter, the other invitees arrived one after another by 8 pm, it is apparent. At 8 pm, HRH the Crown Prince proceeded to Mahendra-Manzil by his car and conveyed Her Majesty the Queen Mother, with himself at the wheel, to Tribhuvan Sadan, the venue of the gathering, it is also apparent. Her Majesty the Queen Mother then remained with Her Royal Highnesss Princess Helen Shaha in the small chamber known as Sano Baithak to the east of the billiard hall. After the royal family members and royal relatives arrived, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (hereafter HM the King) finally arrived directly at Tribhuvan Sadan on foot from his office around 8.30 pm, had a darshan of Her Majesty the Queen Mother and after some pleasantries proceeded towards the billiard room, it has come to light from eye witnesses to the sequence of events.
HRH the Crown Prince at 7.30 pm, played billiards by himself for some time at the billiard room at Tribhuvan Sadan and in the course of that drank one or two pegs of Famous Grouse whisky neat, according to HRH the Crown Prince's ADC Gajendra Bohara and royal relatives Maheshwar Singh and Rabi Shumsher J.B.R.. A little before HM the King arrived at the Tribhuvan Sadan (some l0-l2 minutes before), four individuals including HRH Prince Nirajan, HRH Prince Paras, Kumar Gorakh and Dr Rajeev saw HRH the Crown Prince swaying, unable to hold himself upright, and wondering if it was not the effect of the whisky, they took HRH the Crown Prince to his bed chamber inside Tribhuvan Sadan, it is learnt from eye witnesses.
While in the billiard room HRH the Crown Prince had ordered his ADC Gajendra Bohara by mobile phone at 8.l9 pm to fetch cigarettes and Gajendra Bohara, as ordered, brought a special kind of cigarette prepared with a mixture of hashish and another unnamed black substance as per an order to royal orderly Ram Krishan KC, and proceeded to the east door of the billiard hall and entrusted them to HRH Prince Paras, according to the said Ram Krishna. HRH the Crown Prince himself made arrangements for the hashish and the black substance, it was not known from where it could have come, and since about a year ago he had been making such cigarettes, orderly of HRH the Crown Prince Ram Krishna KC said before the committee. Orderly Ram Krishna KC's version has been corroborated by royal ADCs to HRH the Crown Prince Gajendra Bohara and Raju Karki who said before the committee that HRH the Crown Prince used to smoke such cigarettes.
According to particulars received from the telecommunications corporation, it is learnt from the documentation there that HRH the Crown Prince talked to Debyani Rana for one minute l4 seconds on his mobile no. 98l02l5l3 at 8.l2 pm on June l, 200l through mobile no. 98l024339 of Usha Rana, and the second time Debyani Rana talked to HRH the Crown Prince for 4 minutes l4 seconds on mobile no. 98l02l5l3l from mobile no. 0l42305l at 9.l9 pm. Finally, at 8.39 HRH the Crown Prince talked to Debyabni Rana for 32 seconds on his mobile no. 98l02l5l3 through mobile no. 98l024339, according to the same particulars. HRH the Crown Prince had close ties with Miss Debyani Rana of Maharajgunj, according to royal ADCs Gajendra Bohara and Raju Karki as well as Supriya Shaha, a friend of HRH the Crown Prince. Debyani's mother and father themselves pointed out in the course of inquiries before the committee that there was contact between HRH the Crown Prince and Debyani Rana. That there was a close relationship between HRH the Crown Prince and herself was confirmed by Devyani Rana herself (in a tape recording of her voice) when questioned by Royal Nepalese Ambassador to India Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa as empowered by the committee.
Miss Debyani Rana said as matters concerning HRH the Crown Prince were her personal affair she did not want to say anything about them and that at 8.25 pm when the exchanges were taking place with HRH the Crown Prince his speech sounded slurred so further exchange could not take place, adding that "the voice of HRH the Crown Prince was somewhat slurred, is he somewhat unwell? She wondered and phoned HRH the Crown Prince's ADC Gajendra Bohara at his office and Raju Karki at his home urging them to go have a look at the bed chamber".
After Miss Debyani Rana phoned ADC gajenda bohara and Raju Karki passed the message to Gajendra Boraha by phone, Ramkrishna KC, orderly to HRH the Crown Prince, and dware ama Jamuna Adhikari, as ordered by Bohara, reached the bed chamber of HRH the Crown Prince whereupon they found HRH the Crown Prince prone on the ground and trying to undo the clothing on the upper part of his body. They helped take off the clothing and after that HRH the Crown Prince proceeded to the bathroom. Jamuna Adhikari also herd retching noises coming from the bathroom and after coming out of the bathroom HRH the Crown Prince ordered them both to go to their respective rooms to sleep, according to the dware ama and orderly Ramkrishna KC.
At 8.39 in the evening HRH the Crown Prince talked on his mobile phone no. 98l02l5l3 to Miss Debyani Rana on mobile no 98l024339 for 32 seconds as evident from records at the telecommunications corporation and this has been conceded by Miss Rana adding that HRH the Crown Prince had said "I am now about to sleep", "good night, we'll talk tomorrow".
After the phone contact with Miss Debyani Rana, HRH the Crown Prince put on army combat dress and came out of the bed chamber with weapons where he was seen by HRH Crown Prince's orderly Ramkrishna who thought the Crown Prince was about to go out and said "shall the emergency bag be brought sire", whereupon HRH the Crown Prince replied "it's not necessary now", according to orderly Ramkrishna.
HRH the Crown Prince in combat fatigues and armed on both sides with rifle and revolver proceeded towards the billiard hall, according to 'boys' Bachuram KC who saw HRH the Crown Prince from the eastern room of the dining hall adjoining the billiard hall.
HRH the Crown Prince in combat fatigues entered the billiard hall and fired at the ceiling and west wall with a 9 mm Caliber MP-5K automatic sub-machine gun and then fired rat-tat-tat at His Majesty the King who was then standing near the east end of the billiard table talking to others. All the while HRH the Crown Prince moved back and came out of the billiard room, threw the l2 bore SPAS l2-L FRENCH SPA gun near the stairs to the north of the inner garden edge east of the hall, then entered the billiard room again aiming the 5.56 caliber Colt M-l6 A2 rifle with light and telescope and fired rat-tat-tat again at His Majesty the King, Kumar Gorakh Shumsher Rana, Sri Dhirendra Shah and Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah, then moved back to reach the door, and again advanced to fire indiscriminately a third time hitting HRH Princess Shruti Rajya Laxmi Devi Rana, HRH Princess Sharada Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, HRH Princess Shanti Rajya Laxmi Rana and HRH Princess Jayanti Shah as well as others. HRH the Crown Prince moved back out of the billiard hall and to the east towards the inner garden, according to HRH Princess Shova, HRH Prince Paras, Kumar Gorakh, Ketaki Chestar, Rabi Shumsher, Dr Rajeev Shahi and Maheshwar Kumar Singh who were present at the site.
As HRH the Crown Prince moved back towards the inner garden to the east after firing indiscriminately at the billiard hall a third time, a female figure in red sari was seen giving chase in that direction, as seen by 'boys' Santa Bahadur Khadka among others from the dinning room to the north adjoining the billiard hall, Khadka said. HRH Prince Nirajan followed Her Majesty Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah (hereafter Her Majesty the Queen) via the pathway from the billiard room towards the inner garden to the east to a small convergence point between the pathway from the garden to the bed chamber in Tribhuvan Sadan and the pathway to the shed to the east, according to Mrs Ketaki Chestar among others, and shots were fired from north to south after crossing a ladder there and while standing at the small meadow, going by observation of the site including the state of the empty cartridge shells and bullet marks on the wall to the south. HRH Prince Nirajan was found laying prone in an unconscious state with the head to the east and Major Bishnu Khadka and others carried HRH the Prince and brought him outside, put him in a car and took him to hospital, according to Major Bishnu Khadka among others.
According to royal ADCs, after the firing at the billiard hall the royal ADCs sitting in the inner room of the ADC office on the right hand side of the main gate of Tribhuvan Sadan heard the sound of firing and the alarm "call the doctors soon..." and entered the billiard hall by breaking the glass of the door , which is to the south of the hall and always remains closed, to immediately start rescue work from the hall. Royal ADC Colonel Sundar Pratap Rana, among others, entered the hall, carried His Majesty the King, who was unconscious, out to the car and drove to the military hospital, Chhauni, the ADCs said.
It was seen during the observation of the site of the incident that brain tissues, a few teeth and jaws, red tika, two ear pins, broken pieces of red glass bangles and blood stains were scattered here and there at the place where Her Majesty the Queen was said to have been lying after indiscriminate firing at Her Majesty at the upper part (seventh) step of the inner staircase leading to the bed chamber of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, which can be reached after crossing a bridge over a pond, turning to the north and passing through the main gate that leads to the bed chamber upstairs.
Major Bishnu Khadka and the royal ADCs, who was involved in the rescue work, also told the committee that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was found lying on his back and gurgling to the south of the small bridge over the little pond at the garden in front of Tribhuvan Sadan where the bed chamber of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is situated. During the observation of the site of the incident, a 9mm. caliber Glock Ges. pistol, which His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was said to be in possession of, and empty cartridges discharged from the pistol were found in the water of the pond in the eastern side. Also during the observation a 5.56 caliber M-16 A2 rifle was found on a small lawn to the south of the same place.
After the incident at the above mentioned billiard hall, and at the garden to the east of the hall and the staircase leading to the bed chamber, Royal ADCs and other security personnel rushed the victims to Shree Birendra Military Hospital, Chhauni. The committee has received the following information regarding the time they reached the hospital and their condition at that time:
(a) His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:15 in the evening.
(b) Her Majesty Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:15 in the evening
(c) His Royal Highness Prince Nirajan Bir Bikram Shah was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:15 in the evening.
(d) Her Royal Highness Princess Sruti Rajya Laxmi Devi Rana, who reached Birendra Military Hospital at 9:20 in the evening, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 9:55 the same evening.
(e) Her Royal Highness Princess Shanti Rajya Laxmi Devi Singh was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:30 in the evening.
(f) Her Royal Highness Princess Sharada Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:30 in the evening.
(g) Her Royal Highness Princess Jayanti Rajya Laxmi Shah was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:30 in the evening.
(h) Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah was pronounced dead upon arrival at Birendra Military Hospital at 9:35 in the evening.
(i) His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, who reached Birendra Military Hospital at 9:24 P.M. on June 1, 2001, was pronounced dead at 3:45 A.M. at the hospital on June 4, 2001.
(j) Mr. Dhirendra shah, who reached Birendra Military Hospital at 9:24 P.M. on June 1, 2001, was pronounced dead at 5:57 P.M. at the hospital on June 4, 2001.
17. No information regarding the death of anyone in the incident other than the 10 (ten) mentioned above has been received.
18. Reports from the hospital confirm that Her Majesty Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, Her Royal Highness Princess Shobha Rajya Laxmi Shahi, Kumar Gorakh Shumsher J. B. Rana and Mrs. Ketaki Chestar, all victims of the incident, have sustained serious injuries.
19. According to a letter dated June 10, 2001 received from Birendra Military Hospital, Chhauni, when His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was taken to the hospital immediately after the incident, HRH the Crown Prince was wearing black army boots, a camouflage (combat) army jacket and trousers, black leather gloves, black stockings and a camouflage vest. The committee took possession of the clothing, gloves and boots for inspection and after a laboratory test on the blood stains and some yellowish substances on them experts concerned concluded that the stains were of blood group "B". Among the deceased, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince also have been found to have blood group "B".
20. The committee has also received a letter from the hospital, which states that upon arrival at the hospital His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was wearing gloves and the gloves have been handed in to the committee. No gloves other than the single pair (of gloves) in question have been found at the site of the incident and the hospital.
(a) Forty-seven (47) cartridge cases fired from a 5.56 caliber colt m-16 A2 with weapon number A0073943 (commando) automatic rifle have been recovered. It has been learnt from experts concerned that the rifle can fire 700 to 1,000 bullets per minute.
(b) Experts concerned are of the opinion that the 29 cartridge cases found at the site of the incident were fired from a 9mm. caliber MP-5 K automatic sub-machine gun, which can fire up to 900 bullets per minute.
(c) It has been learnt from experts concerned that the two (2) cartridge cases found at the site of the incident were fired from a 9mm. caliber MP-5 K automatic Ges.m.b.H pistol. The cartridges were found in the pond near the small bridge where His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is said to have been found lying injured by rescuers.
(d) Captain Madhav Bhandari told the committee at its office that the M-16 gun with no. A0073943 mentioned in chapter (a) was issued as per the demand made by the Royal Guard Military Police, the Royal Palace on 056/5/31 Bikram Era and handed in to the Royal Palace armory (kotkhana) after acquiring it from the Royal Nepalese Army arsenal. In course of his interrogation, ADC to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Gajendra Bohara mentioned that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince carried this weapon when he went on trekking, and there was a practice of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince taking weapons directly from the Royal Palace armory (kotkhana) whenever His Royal Highness the Crown Prince so wished.
(e) It has also been found that one pistol and a 9mm. caliber gun were issued as per the demand from the Royal ADC office, the Royal Palace on 2053/1/27 Bikram Era and 2056/7/28 Bikram Era. According to ADC to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Gajendra Bohara, the weapons were in HRH the Crown Prince's possession.
(f) Details received from the Royal Palace show that the 9mm. G19 Glock pistol with no. YY 334 was also issued from the arsenal to hand it in to His Royal Highness Prince Nirajan.
(g) Neither the opinions of experts concerned nor the cartridges recovered confirmed that the 9mm. caliber Glock pistol found at the billiard hall and the 12 bore single barrel shot gun recovered from a corner south-west of the lawn were fired during the incident.
22. No entrance to the site of the incident other than the main gate which houses the ADC office inside Tribhuvan Sadan at the Narayanhity Royal Palace and a small closed gate in the eastern part were found during the observation of the site of the incident. A sketch of the site of the incident is in annex to this report.
23. That bullet injuries were the cause of death of all killed in the incident, which took place at the Narayanhity Royal Palace on June 1, 2001, has been substantiated also by the opinion of the physicians concerned of Birendra Military Hospital, Chhauni. Also the injured said in course of interrogations that they sustained the injuries from gun shots. Information received from Birendra Military Hospital also revealed that gun shots were the cause of the injuries sustained by victims of the incident currently at the hospital.
As part of the process of making public the factual details about the tragic incident that took place during a family gathering at the Narayanhity Royal Palace on the night of June 1, 200l, His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev announced the formation of a high level committee with Chief Justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyaya as Chairman and Speaker of Parliament Taranath Rana Bhat and opposition leader in the House of Representatives Madhav Kumar Nepal as members on June 4, 2001, requiring the committee to submit its report in three days.
The resignation submitted to His Majesty the King on June 6, 2001 by member of the committee Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal through its Chairman citing his party's decision not to work on the high level committee and pledging at the same time his party's and his own full cooperation in the process of investigation.
The Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King issued a communique on June 6, 2001establishing the following terms of reference for the committee:
1. To submit to His Majesty the King a report along with the factual details about the incident that took place at the Royal Palace on June 1, 2001.
2. The committee will have the following powers:
a) To observe the site of the incident and collect necessary details along with photographs.
b) Acquire information from family members and other individuals present at the gathering at the site of incident, individuals providing security and other services at the Royal Palace, doctors and nurses involved in the treatment and other individuals whom the committee deems essential to interview.
c) To collect and examine the weapons, bullets and other objects concerned with the incident and acquire reports on the test and examinations conducted by the hospital in connection with the incident.
d) To take necessary help from experts concerned regarding the incident.
e) To seek the assistance of individuals concerned in connection with the execution of the committee's duties.
3. The tenure of office of the committee will be three days starting from the date of initiating its work.
4. The office of the committee will be set up at a place specified by the Chairman.
5. The committee will specify its other procedures on its own.
The same communique confirmed the acceptance of the resignation submitted by member of the committee and opposition leader in the House of Representatives Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal.
As stated in the communique issued by the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King on June 6, 2001, the office of the committee was set up at the parliament building on parliament premises as specified by the Chairman of the committee. The committee started its work from June 8, 2001.
Information and data were collected in course of gathering factual details about the incident in line with the royal proclamation of His Majesty the King while remaining within the framework of the terms of reference specified in the communique issued by the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King. The committee's modus operandi was worked out in line with the communique which had authorized the committee to specify its own working procedure. Basically the following methodology was adopted for collection of factual details about the incident:
(a) Interrogation of the victims of the incident and Royal Family members present at the site of the incident, royal relatives, and security guards, chefs, attendants, Royal Palace service office bearers, individuals engaged in rescue work, physicians and nurses involved in medical treatment and other individuals who seem to be associated with the incident.
(b) Study of notices and data received from the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King and Birendra Military Hospital, and records and documents relating to the medical treatment.
(c) Collection of guns, bullets, cartridges, blood, brain tissue, fingerprints and clothing found at the site of the incident, and study of scientific and chemical test reports by the experts concerned.
(d) Consultations with experts concerned, narcotic drug experts and psychologists on the opinions given by experts about the guns, bullets, blood, brain tissue and finger prints, and on technical matters stated in documents relating to medical treatment collected in course of the investigation.
As it took some more time to complete laboratory tests on various physical substances recovered from the site of the incident in course of submitting a report after following the above methodology and the report could not be completed within the specified time, His Majesty the King extended the tenure of office of the committee by four days starting from June 11, 2001 as per the request of the committee.