Munna Rai alias Hulchul Rai, who had shot at and wounded Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad at an election rally before being nearly beaten to death, died on Monday after battling for life for 18 days.
With his death all hopes of unravelling the reason behind the attack on Prasad have almost been buried.
Patna Medical College and Hospital deputy superintendent Dr Ashok Kumar Singh told PTI that Rai succumbed to injuries this morning. He was in a coma ever since the October 6 attack in which Ravishanker Prasad escaped with a gunshot injury to his arm.
Rai, who the Rohtas district administration had claimed was a man of unsound mind, had suffered serious head injuries when angry BJP supporters beat him up with bamboo staves and chairs after he shot at Prasad.
The attack had snowballed into a controversy when the authorities claimed that the assailant was a Vishwa Hindu Parishad supporter, following recovery of a note from his pocket, something which was promptly and strongly denied by the saffron outfit.
Prasad had narrowly escaped death when Rai, who had sneaked on to the dias at BJP's election rally at Nokha in Rohtas district, fired at him from close.
The bullet had hit his arm and he was later flown to Delhi for treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Prasad has not since attended any election meeting in Bihar.