January 16, 2021
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Kathmandu Tense But Peaceful, Indians Worried

The probe is not going to produce any conclusive proof, and the public doesn't like it.

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Kathmandu Tense But Peaceful, Indians Worried

While Kathmandu remains largely tense but peaceful under curfew, political parties gave conflicting signals over the new monarch and his much-publicised probe into the royal massacre.

First there was the drama involving the communinst leader Madhav Nepal who on Tuesday evening issued a statement distancing himself from the probe. But his party sources said that Bharat Mohan Adhikary, the chief whip of the Communist Party of Nepal in the national assembly has been nominated as his replacement. But confusion remained as there was such commitment.

Earlier, during the day, the working committee of the ruling Nepali Congress met and welcomed the probe, expressing hope that it would bring out the truth. This, analysts claimed, was necessary to ensure that the national assembly speaker Taranath Ranabhat did not quit the probe panel. There had been rumblings from his side also, earlier.

With this, the possibilities of a serious stand-off between the Palace and the GP Koirala government seems to have been averted. At least for now.

No senior political leader has so far called on the king, who remained within the confines of the palace, cloistered with his aides and close associates.

'Indians Worried'

There are worries that anger on the streets following the royal massacre might translate into anti-Indian sentiment as had happened at the time of the l'affaire Hrithik Roshan and the alleged remarks (denied by him and the Indian government!) made by him.

Instability of any nature in Nepal is not in either country's interest. Earlier, Vajpayee had dismissed speculation about a conspiracy behind the royal murders and assured Nepal of his government's continuing co-operation.

There has been concern that the current instability may lead to a rise in Nepal's Maoist insurgency. There have been speculations galore that the possible strengthening of Maoist forces in Nepal may give China and Pakistan a strategic advantage against India.

But the "experts" as usual remain divided over this too. No country would want to get embroiled in risky political turmoil in Nepal, argue some while there is belief among some that a rise in Maoist activity could actually strengthen co-operation between Nepal and India.

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