Marathi writer and activist Laxman Mane’s face was on Tuesday blackened by a group of people at a press meet here in central Maharashtra for allegedly demanding bribe for clearing a loan when he headed a tribal agency.

When Mr. Mane was addressing a press conference at the government Rest House here on a programme of Nomadic Tribes Organisation (NTO), of which he is a member, a group of people, including former Sarpanch of Bahirwadi village Asaram Gaikwad barged into the venue, interrupted the conference and blackened his face.

Mr. Asaram Gaikwad alleged that Mr. Mane demanded a bribe to sanction a loan when he was president of Vasantrao Naik Vimukta Jati and the Nomadic Tribes Development Corporation.

The former Sarpanch said he had been a supporter of Mr. Mane for 20 years but became disillusioned with him after he “betrayed” the trust of tribals.

Talking to reporters later, Mr. Mane said he was deeply hurt by the incident but won’t file a police complaint. “I will not file a case against these people as they are like my family members. They were angry with me so they blackened my face,” he said.

Mr. Mane, a Padma Shri recipient known for his work on nomadic tribes, had hit the headlines in March this year when he was booked by the Satara police in Western Maharashtra on rape charge. — PTI