The tantrik (black magician) who was shown hugging, kissing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and chanting ‘Nitish Kumar zindabad, Lalu Prasad murdabad’ in a video clip is found to be quite “unpopular and a drunkard” in a Bihar village where he has taken shelter for the last four years.
In an effort to track the tantrik, The Hindu on Monday reached Bhavnauli Mathia village of the Mairwa block under the Ziradei Assembly constituency in Siwan district. He is known as Baba Birnath Aghori and lives in one corner of the village.
Villagers say Baba Birnath Aghori had come to the village in 2011 and later settled down there despite their reluctance. “He is a Muslim and belongs to Motipur village of Bhatni in Deoria district of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh,” a villager Judge Parvaat told The Hindu . Uttar Pradesh is just two km away from the village.
When the video clip went viral and Baba got a call from someone he went underground on Sunday evening, said Kaushalya Rani, who cooks food and takes care of the tantrik. A chained lock was found at the blue iron gate of the ashram on Monday.
When The Hindu reached the tantrik’s ashram at the far end of the remote village, some of the locals came calling to share their opinion about the Baba. “Since morning he starts drinking wine and abuses villagers for no reason. We are fed up with his unbecoming behaviour,” they said.
But, why don’t they protest? “He used to flaunt his political connections and call the police to bully us,” said Valmiki Pravaat.
The villagers also said that often politicians and VIPs come to visit the Baba, even at the dead of night. They remember ruling Janata Dal (United) legislator Neeraj Kumar — who Mr. Nitish Kumar said had taken him earlier to the Baba — coming to meet the tantrik at regular intervals.
Meanwhile, the buzz is that a BJP candidate who was earlier with the JD(U) and close to Mr. Neeraj Kumar had leaked the video.
An embarrassed Nitish Kumar said on Sunday that he had gone to meet the Baba on the insistence of Mr. Neeraj Kumar.