In an incident reminiscent of Haryana's brutal khap panchayats, a Janata Dal (United) leader bludgeoned a youth, accusing him of molesting a minor girl at Mansoorpur village in Bihar's Vaishali district on Sunday. Police sources said that after a panchayat hearing, Rajesh Mahto was strung upside down from bamboo sticks and mercilessly beaten in full view of the public by JD(U) leader Shambu Sharan Rai.

The boy fell unconscious and was rushed to the Patna Medical College Hospital, where he is said to be fighting for life.

A villager, who had stealthily recorded the event on his mobile phone, referred it to the Vaishali police.

The boy's father, however, denied the molestation charge.

He said Rai beat his son after he had demanded Rs.10,000 Rai owed him in connection with an Indira Awas Yojana unit.

On Monday, after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed DGP Neelmani to conduct a probe and arrest Rai immediately, Rai and three of his associates were taken into custody by the Vaishali Superintendent of Police.

Keywords: Mob rage