Drama in real life – three Indians held for murder on stage


Kathmandu : Three Indian folk artistes have been arrested in a frontier village in Nepal for the sensational murder of a peer in front of hundreds of people while a play was being performed, reports said.

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Phani Lal Yadav, a 35-year-old folk artiste from Madhubani district in neighbouring Bihar state of India, was killed around 3 a.m. Sunday as hundreds of spectators in Nepal’s Baseriya village in Saptari district watched in stunned horror before fleeing helter-skelter.

Media reports said the death occurred as Yadav made his appearance on the makeshift stage to play his role.

The scene involved a fight with other characters one of whom pulls out a gun and shoots Yadav.

However, the gun and the bullet turned out to be real, killing Yadav right on the stage, reports said.

Police have taken three Indian actors from the troupe into custody for questioning. Their identities have not been disclosed yet.

Yadav was part of a 16-member team of folk artistes from Bihar who had been invited by a youth organisation. Saptari is one of the most violent places in the Himalayan kingdom where 20 people have been killed by armed groups in the past one month.

The Terai village, where a large number of people of Indian-origin live, was celebrating a festival — the equivalent of Brother’s Day — marked by a cultural programme that continued into the early hours of Sunday.

Police are also searching for the organisers of the programme who were said to be absconding.