A DAY after celebrating Diwali, the family of head constable Ramashankar Yadav was looking forward to the next big event — the marriage of his youngest daughter in December. But barely had the day begun when they were informed that Yadav had been killed by the eight SIMI activists while they were escaping from Bhopal’s Central Jail. Yadav, 57, was due to retire in early 2019 and had undergone a bypass surgery a few years ago.
“I don’t know what he must have gone through while wrestling with the eight who were desperate to escape and intent on taking his life,’’ said Yadav’s son Prabhunath Yadav, a Lance Naik with the Army, posted in Hissar. Soon after he heard about his father’s death, Prabhunath took a taxi to Delhi and flew to Bhopal to console his grieving mother Hiramuni.
Yadav’s other son Shambunath is also in the Army, posted in Assam, and his daughter Sonia was due to get married in early December. At Yadav’s home, not far from the jail, his family, relatives and friends hailed his “martyrdom” but also expressed anger at the administration for giving him “a difficult assignment despite his advancing age and health condition”.
“He underwent a bypass surgery a few years ago. We had requested the jail administration to give him some work that was less demanding and not post him on night duty,’’ said Prabhunath. “Ramashankar is a martyr, he fought bravely,’’ said Rakesh Kataria, a family friend and police constable. State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh called on the family later on Monday and promised that the government would bestow “martyr status” on the slain policeman. The state government also announced monetary compensation for Yadav’s family of Rs 15 lakh, including Rs 5 lakh for Sonia’s marriage.