After a failed attempt to attack former telecom minister Sukhram, 86, on Saturday inside the Rohini court complex, Harvinder Singh, 35, had become a recluse.
On Thursday, Singh shot into notoriety once again when he emerged from a group of journalists at the city's NDMC centre and slapped agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader momentarily lost balance, but immediately recovered.
Brandishing a kirpan (ceremonial dagger) Singh thundered, "Sab chor hain... cheer doonga... cheer doonga (They are all thieves. I will rip them apart)." He told reporters he was fed up with rising food prices and corruption.
Singh is a resident of Vijay Vihar area of Rohini in north Delhi, and lives with his parents, grandparents and elder brother. According to Singh's neighbour Saroj Sharma, "At 2pm Singh's mother ran into our house to inform that Hari Om (Singh's nickname) had again landed in trouble."
While Singh's family was unavailable for comment - they locked up their house and left for some unknown place soon after the news broke out on TV — his neighbours let in that the tempo driver was mentally unstable. "After the Sukhram incident, his mother told us that he was mentally unstable and was undergoing treatment at Sir Gangaram hospital," said Pushpa Sharma, another neighbour.
According to Singh’s friends, he had always wanted to become an anti-corruption campaigner. "He used to leave every day at 8am to attend Hazare's anti-graft drive at Ramlila Maidan," recalled neighbour Pyarelal Sharma.
Within hours of the incident 'Harvinder Singh' started trending on Twitter. He also managed two fan pages on Facebook by evening.