Saved from death penalty, Umesh Yadav returns home from Saudi

KATHMANDU, Jan 22: Umesh Yadav, who was sentenced to death for the murder of a Pakistani national, has successfully returned to Nepal on Wednesday after spending 13 years in prison in Saudi Arabia.

A resident of Kamala Municipality-3 of Dhanusha district, Yadav was accused of murdering Mohammad Lucky Asif of Pakistan in 2006. He had been working for Jiladin Company in Saudi Arabia.

A General Court had previously sentenced Yadav to 11 years in jail. However, the Court of Appeal later in 2012 sentenced him to death.

Yadav was able to receive a pardon after Asif’s family agreed to grant him clemency in 2018 and settle for the blood money.

Yadav’s old parents and spouse were in no condition to pay the blood money due to their poor economic condition.

He sometimes used to call his mother Kumari Devi from jail and give her hope that he would return very soon.

Activist Saroj Raya initiated the “Save Umesh Yadav” campaign, was able to raise the fund for the blood money amounting to PKR 3 million.

Raya had also traveled to Faisalabad in Pakistan to negotiate a settlement with the victim’s family.

“Umesh had never thought that he would return to Nepal someday. But he has returned successfully,” said Raya, who had reached the Tribhuvan International Airport to welcome Yadav.

“I am happy our campaign to save Umesh has become successful.”

Saudi Arabia, which has capital punishment as a legal penalty, has performed 158 executions in 2015, 154 in 2016, 146 in 2017 and 149 in 2018.

Execution in Saudi Arabia is usually carried in public by beheading with a sword and occasionally done by shooting.