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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 01, 2001: King Birendra of Nepal was cremated here along with his wife, Queen Aishwarya, and six other members of his family about 20 hours after they were all shot and killed by Birendra's eldest son crown prince Dipendra at the Royal Palace on Friday night. In a bizarre - -but perfectly constitutional -- twist to the tragedy, the Raj Parishad Sthayi Samithi, or Privy Council -- a statutory, widely representative body created in 1990 and comprising the prime minister, leader of opposition and all parties -- declared the crown prince the king of Nepal even as he lies in deep coma. The council also announced that since Dipendra was ill, Birendra's brother, Gyanendra, would serve as regent. Tension between Dipendra and his parents had been building for several months over their opposition to his romantic attachment to Devyani, the daughter of Pashupati Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, a palace loyalist. Rana is married to Usha Raje Scindia of the Gwalior royal family. It is not clear why Aishwarya opposed Devyani. Following a family squabble, the prince shot his family with an M-16 rifle -- by some accounts, at least 19 people. In New Delhi, speculation is rife the Queen was interested in Dipendra marrying a girl from her sister's family.