FIR against former Nepal king Gyanendra Shah for 2003 massacre of Maoists

Gyanendra Shah
The last press conference as a royal: Former King Gyanendra Shah speaking at a press conference moments before leaving Narayanhiti Palace in 2008

An FIR has been lodged with Nepal’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) against Nepal’s former king Gyanendra Shah. He and a dozen others have been accused of being responsible for what is widely known in Nepal as Doramba Hatyakanda, a cold-blooded massacre of 22 unarmed Maoists in 2003.

Doramba
Family members of the victims of Doramba massacre / Picture: Ratopati

The former monarch and his co-accused have been named in the FIR submitted by families of the victims of the mass murder who were gunned down by the then Royal Nepal Army at Doramba in Ramechhap district.

The mass murder took place just when senior Maoist leaders were meeting with ministers of the Nepalese government at Hapure village in Dang district. A ceasefire was on, needless to say. Hundreds of kilometres away from the location of the peace talks, Maoist cadres were assembled at the home of the area commander in Doramba when a deployment of Royal Nepal Army under the command of Major Ram Mani Pokharel reached the area. There were reportedly over fifty attendees at the meeting, most of whom escaped when the army opened fire, reports suggest. They were apparently paraded away, blind-folded and shot dead while their hands were tied in the back.

Today, the daughter of the murdered Maoist area commander, Baburam Lama, and many other victim families lodged the FIR with the TRC. Sageeta Lama told the vernacular online media outlet Ratopati that she could not let go of the people who put a bullet through the temple of his father.

Apart from then king, the FIR also makes mention of PM Surya Bahadur Thapa, home minister Kamal Thapa (the current deputy prime minister), home secretary Ananta Raj Sharma, CoAS Pyar Jung Thapa, IGP Shyam Bhakta Thapa, CDO Chudamani Bashyal, DSP Ram Prasad Shrestha, state minister Kamal Chaulagain, Major Ram Mani Pokharel and local officials.

According to the Nepalese media, the transitional justice mechanism in Nepal has received nearly twenty thousand complaints from members of the public, since April 27.
The armed conflict between the government forces and the then Maoist guerillas claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Most records put the death toll somewhere around sixteen thousand but many believe it could have been even worse.

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