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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Nepal probe 'seeks prince's girlfriend'
Mourners lining up
Nepal held 11 days of mourning for the royal victims
The two-man committee investigating the massacre of Nepal's royal family is reported to have asked the girlfriend of the late Crown Prince Dipendra to appear for questioning.

Devyani Rana
Devyani Rana: Believed to be in Europe
Devyani Rana is believed to have fled Nepal immediately after the massacre and is reportedly now in Europe.

Eyewitness accounts of the killings say that Dipendra was responsible for shooting dead his father, the late King Birendra, and eight other royals.

Some initial reports suggested he had had a bitter row with his parents because they opposed his wish to marry Devyani Rana.

Parental 'objections'

The commission is believed to have written to her father Pashupati Shamshere Rana, who is a former minister, asking that she appear before them.

Dipendra
Dipendra: Eyewitness said he was the killer
However, one report from Kathmandu said that she had refused to return to Nepal, saying that she feared for her safety if she did.

It is not known why Dipendra's parents might have objected to his choice of bride.

Various theories were put forward that they objected to her Indian family connections or that her father was descended from a rival branch of the aristocratic Rana clan.

None have been confirmed.

The commission, set up by the newly-crowned King Gyanendra, is meant to report its findings to him on Thursday after requesting an extension of the deadline to complete its work.

Report

The report will not be made public until after it has been seen by the King.

The Kathmandu Post newspaper said on Wednesday that this was unlikely to happen before next week.

Eyewitness told local and foreign media that Dipendra had been drunk when he opened fire on the royal family - although they did not know what had prompted him to carry out the killings.

However, many ordinary Nepalese seem reluctant to believe that Dipendra was responsible.

Official mourning for the late King ended on Tuesday when businesses, schools and offices re-opened.


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12 Jun 01 | South Asia
11 Jun 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
07 Jun 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
06 Jun 01 | South Asia
07 Jun 01 | South Asia
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