Tensions flared in Banke and surrounding districts yesterday as thousands of his and the ‘Free Madhesh’ supporters poured into Banke to pay their last respects to Ram Manohar Yadav.
Ram Manohar Yadav, a Free Madhesh activist had died mysteriously under police custody on September 1, 2018. According to reports, he had fallen ill a day ago and was admitted to a local hospital. A quick decision to bring him to Kathmandu was arrived upon as his health deteriorated. As soon as he was brought to Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, doctors pronounced him dead. His postmortem report has not been released yet, and his family and supporters claim he died because of the police department’s ‘lack of timely response’.
His body remained at Teaching Hospital as his family knocked several doors for justice – and on Sunday, after being assured his case was registered, the family claimed the body to perform his last rites. His casket was loaded in a van and headed towards Kapasi, Banke, when reaching Kohalpur, police seized the van.
Elsewhere in the nation, from districts as far as Jhapa, his supporters were making their way west to attend his funeral – chanting the Free Madhesh slogans all along.
As agitations grew, police detained several supporters for spreading unrest – which led to more protests. Yadav’s body was released around 3 p.m. and his last rites conducted at Kapasi, his village, surrounded by thousands of his supporters.
Note: Ram Manohar Yadav, and three of his other friends were arrested by Banke police for showing a ‘black flag’ as a sign of protest to Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Upendra Yadav on August 23, 2018. Yadav was an activist of the ‘Free Madhesh’ political movement, and an ardent follower of secessionist politician Dr. C K Yadav, who advocates for a free Madhesh Territory.