Temptation to have a bunch of tamarind from an orchard cost a minor boy so dearly that he lost vision in one eye and not before being brutally assaulted close to the Nepal border in Supaul district.
Raj Kumar Sao (9), a resident of ward No. 4 of Kariho panchayat in Supaul district, was badly beaten up after being caught by the orchard manager, Uttim Lal Mandal, on Tuesday and subjected to humiliation.
As the child was not ready to confess to the crime, Mandal attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon causing grievous to his left eye. He was immediately taken to Dharan-based eye hospital in Nepal where the doctors removed his damaged eye.
Ramsahay Rai, the house officer of Supaul Sadar police station, said the key accused of the incident Mandal (50) was arrested today from his native village Kariho and produced before the chief judicial magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody for two weeks.
“Efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the other associates of Mandal. Once they are arrested, the police would submit chargesheet against them at the earliest to ensure speedy trial of the case,” Rai told The Telegraph.
Raj’s father, Narayan Sao, a daily wage earner, told the police that Mandal along with his henchmen attacked his son when he had to graze his cattle in the field.
“My son could not resist his temptation for the tamarind fruit and hence plucked a few ones. But he was accompanied by his peers, who were eight in number,” he said.
Earlier, an altercation had taken place between the two families on May 27 this year over some issue. “Mandal was looking for an opportunity to settle his personal score and he did it on Tuesday,” the hapless father said.
Narayan alleged that Mandal punished his son while others were let off. “My son was beaten up so badly that he became unconscious on the spot. I received information about his thrashing from some co-villagers, who had gathered at the site,” he added.
He said Raj, a student of Class III, was not a professional thief as he was meted out ill treatment and subjected to physical assault.
A section of the villagers told the police that Mandal with his goons caught the boy after a chase and then beat up black and blue. He was also attacked with a knife, leading to severe injuries on his face.
The police said the doctors at Virat Nagar in Nepal operated upon and removed Raj’s left eye. “The boy had lost eyesight soon after the attack. He regained consciousness only on Wednesday. Once his condition becomes normal, we will interrogate him,” station house officer Rai said.