Families presume Ghimire trio dead, start mourning rituals

KATHMANDU: The families of former minister Madhav Ghimire and his brothers Mohan Ghimire and Prakash Ghimire, who went missing in the Trishuli River after a jeep crash on September 25, have presumed them dead and started the mourning rituals on Friday.

They made up faux bodies of kush, a holy grass, and carried out last rites -- for the last fire sacrifice as per the Vedic tradition -- at the Pashupati Aryaghat today.

Their 80-year-old mother Chaitanya Kumari Ghimire, whose body was found along with two other victims in the mighty river on Sunday, was also cremated by the side of the kush effigies of her sons.

Ghimire and his two young brothers had gone missing after the jeep carrying them plunged into the Trishuli River while they were returning to Kathmandu from Muktinath Temple. The government had mobilised security personnel for a search operation immediately after the accident, but in vain.

The bodies of Chaitanya Kumari, her grandson Narayan Kafle (Ghimires' nephew) and the former minister's bodyguard Ram Chandra Karki had been recovered on the same day.

Among seven people on board the jeep, only Ghimire's driver, Bishnu Rai, survived. It was him who informed police about the incident.

According to Rai, Ghimire was behind the wheels at the time of the incident.

Rai was admitted to a hospital in Chitwan for treatment and later brought to Kathmandu.

Madhav Ghimire was the Minister for Home Affairs as well as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Khil Raj Regmi-led Interim Council of Ministers in 2013-14.

Before serving as the minister, Ghimire was Chief Secretary of the government from August 6, 2009 to August 5, 2012.