The arrest of Dr Ranjit Singh, alias Ranjit Don, in the CAT papers leak case has shocked his relatives and villagers in Bihar, but they are not willing to dub him as a scamster yet.
"My son-in-law has done no wrong. He been framed due to his rising popularity in politics," said Ranjit's mother-in-law Bachchi Devi.
A resident of Kathouli village in Nalanda district, Bachchi regretted that Ranjit had decided to enter politics against her advice. She also accused local politicians of having implicated Ranjit in false cases.
"I told him to steer clear of politics, but he had made up his mind to contest the next elections," she said. "His current problems are precisely because of this."
Having minted millions in the admission racket over the years, Ranjit Don had decided to challenge Defence Minister George Fernandes in the next parliamentary elections from the Nalanda constituency. Ranjit had already started doing his groundwork in the area through a voluntary organisation called Magadh Vikas Manch.
Ranjit had told his supporters that he would fight the elections on the Rashtriya Janata Dal ticket. He is also said to have helped a Bihar minister in buying a flat in Mumbai recently.
The arrest of Ranjit had also come as a bolt from the blue for the residents of his native place, Khaddi Lodipur in Nalanda, where he had a hero's image.
Though the villagers did not have any idea about the exact nature of Ranjit's job, they had always perceived him as a good samaritan for his unstinting help to the youngsters of the region in getting 'decent' employment. He had also renovated a village temple recently.
A villager Rambabu Singh said that Ranjit was the ideal son-of-the-soil who had attained success without taking anybody's help. Ranjit's aunt Malti Devi, who lives with Ranjit's nonagenarian grandmother in his ancestral village, said nobody in her family had eaten anything ever since they heard the news of Ranjit's arrest on radio.