Nepal police arrest man claiming to have plotted royal massacre

August 7th, 2009 - 3:23 am ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Aug 6 (IANS) Nepal Police Thursday night arrested a man who had claimed to have plotted the assassination of Nepal’s King Birendra and nine more members of the royal family in the tightly guarded pagoda palace in Kathmandu eight years ago.

Tul Prasad Sherchan, 59, was going to a meeting in an undisclosed place when the motorcycle he was riding pillion was stopped by police in the capital and he was marched off.

His companion and media advisor told IANS that he has been kept in the Hanumandhoka police station.

The arrest came after Sherchan walked into the best-known media club in the capital Wednesday and claimed to have had plotted the massacre in June 2001 that is regarded as the point when monarchy started crumbling in the world’s only Hindu kingdom.

Dressed in traditional Nepali clothes and a traditional cap, the bespectacled man told the stunned gathering Wednesday that he was Tul Prasad Sherchan, chief of the intelligence bureau during King Birendra’s reign.

Sherchan said he had planned the massacre in 1975 in London, and had tapes to bear out his claim.

Asked what made him plan the destruction of the royal family, he claimed he had information that the members of the royal family had siphoned away the money received as aid from foreign donors.

Had that incredible wealth been invested in Nepal, it would have transformed the economy of a nation that is among the poorest in the world, racked by foreign debts, the man said.

Sherchan also claimed that he had repeatedly asked the royal family to invest part of their money in Nepal. But they refused and even jailed him for 38 months, compelling him to plot the murder.

The claim was greeted by stunned disbelief and even derision.

However, Nepal’s major media ignored the claim while the lightweights poked fun at Sherchan, calling his claim an elaborate April Fool joke.

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