The Kot Massacre
After three months of squabbling, a coalition ministry
formed in September 1845, again headed by Fateh Jang
real power behind the throne was the favorite of Queen
Gagan Singh, who controlled seven regiments in the army
the three under the prime minister. Abhiman Singh and Jang
also served as commanders, each with three regiments.
counterplots continued until Gagan Singh was found
the night of September 14, 1846. The queen was beside
the death of her favorite, whom she had hoped to use to
own son to the monarchy. She commanded Abhiman Singh to
the entire military and administrative establishment of
immediately at the courtyard of the palace armory
Emotions ran high among the assembled bands of notables
their followers, who listened to the queen give an
harangue blaming the Pandes and demanding that the prime
execute the Pande leader whom she suspected of the murder.
Abhiman Singh hesitated, fighting broke out in the crowd,
was wounded. During the free-for-all that followed, swords
knives were used on all sides to dispatch opponents.
scheme that has never been explained adequately, the only
with organized bodies of troops in the kot area was
Bahadur, whose troops suppressed the fighting, killing
many of his
opponents in the process. When the struggle subsided, the
was strewn with the bodies of dozens of leading nobles and
unknown number of their followers--the cream of the
aristocracy. The Pande and Thapa families in particular
devastated during this slaughter.
Why the Kot Massacre took place has never been
although the queen herself was obviously at fault for
assembly and whipping it into a frenzy. It has always
suspicious that the king was notably absent when the
and that Jang Bahadur was the only leader who was ready
trouble. The extent of the carnage was apparently
Bahadur was the only true beneficiary of the massacre and
the only military leader in a position of strength in the
The next day, he became prime minister and immediately
purge that killed many of his aristocratic competitors and
6,000 people into exile in India.
Data as of September 1991