Janakpurdham, January 27
Umesh Yadav of Kamala Municipality, Dhanusha, who was in death row in a Saudi prison, has finally arrived home after being granted pardon.
Having landed in Kathmandu on Wednesday, he arrived at his home in Kamala Municipality-3 today amidst a huge homecoming welcome.
Having reached Janakpur Airport to receive their family member, who had finally returned home after 14 years by overcoming death, Yadav’s kin were filed with joy to meet him. Along with the kin, thousands of villagers gathered to welcome Yadav in his village, where a feast was organised to celebrate his homecoming.
After a court in Saudi Arabia had handed down death sentence to Yadav, saying he must be decapitated for killing a Pakistani national, initiative had started in Nepal to save him. Upon hearing about the death sentence, Janakpur-based social activist Saroj Raya had started initiative for general amnesty for Yadav. Raya visited Pakistan twice and also travelled to Saudi Arabia.
It was by visiting the family of the deceased Pakistani national in Pakistan that he managed to convince the family to pardon Yadav for Rs three million blood money.
After that, Raya started a campaign to collect the money, and once the amount was collected, he managed to secure a pardon letter from the family concerned and sent it to the court of Saudi Arabia, which finally granted pardon to Yadav.
Social activist Raya said he was happy to have saved Yadav.
“I’m happy to see him back in his village and reunite with his family,” Raya said. “There are still five other Nepalis in the Saudi prison facing death sentence. I will now focus my efforts on rescuing them as well,” he said. Meanwhile, the government has pledged to help Yadav’s family. Ever since he had gone to work abroad 14 years ago and landed in prison murder charge, his family was left to fend for themselves. Foreign Minster Pradip Gyawali met him on Sunday and promised to help him.
A version of this article appears in print on January 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.