Crime, a little politics turned a community against him
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Munna Thakur has half-a-dozen or so cases of theft and road robbery against him and is now on bail. His cousin Kanhaiya, heavily under his influence, worked with him. Munna earned an estimated Rs 300-400 daily from an illegal "contract" with an auto-stand in Simra, 4 km from the village, and also has a fisheries contract for a village pond.
"My progress has been the envy of villagers," Munna said at Patna Medical College and Hospital. "When I fielded my wife in the byelection, the dominant Mandals could not tolerate it."
When Indu Kumari contested the mukhiya byelection in Parmanandpur panchayat, it triggered talk that she was a dummy candidate for the Muslim woman candidate in the fray. The latter eventually did win, with the Hindu votes split between Indu Kumari and Kajal Kumari, the Mandal community's candidate.
The election was held last week and hostilities between Munna and other villagers grew since then. On Saturday, Munna tried to flex his muscle, opening fire to scare away villagers. A case was registered against him under the Arms Act at Raniganj police station.
Shambhu Mandal, who has filed a case against Munna and Kanhaiya for attacking Mandal families, has told the police that the cousins had become a "nuisance" frequently using muscle power. Shambhu alleged the Thakurs had stealthily harvested villagers' paddy crops several times.
The acid attack came the day after the firing. Police haven't ruled out the possible involvement of local politicians, said SP Shivdeep W Lande. "One thing looks clear. The acid was poured into their eyes as per a plan," he said. "We have arrested three brothers — Ramanand, Kapildev and Panchanand."
Of the 30 people mentioned in the police case, only 16 have been identified by name. The men have left the village, leaving the women to face police questioning.
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