Politicians across party lines on Saturday reacted with shock and disgust over the brutal assault on a National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader who has been lobbying for a central probe into the police politician drug mafia nexus in Goa.
Sunil Kauthankar, the young Congress leader, lost his teeth and received several facial lacerations after unidentified people assaulted him with a huge stone on Friday night.
This was less than a week after he complained to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi about senior policemen and ruling politicians sabotaging the drug nexus probe.
"We hope Rahul Gandhi realises that one of his young leaders has been attacked for supporting a public good," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Govind Parvatkar said.
"The BJP had endorsed the campaign started by Kauthankar for a federal probe in Goa's drug nexus," he said.
"We are seeing a lawlessness, experienced never before, in this Congress regime. Young Congress leaders are being attacked for raising their voice against an evil like drugs, when their own government is in power," Parvatkar said.
State youth Congress president Sankalp Amonkar said the police should arrest Kauthankar's assailants or face a state-wide agitation.
"The police should do a thorough job. This is not something we will sit quiet about. We will not tolerate such attacks on our people," Amonkar said.
Congress president Subhash Shirodkar also condemned the attack, saying he would personally take up the matter with Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.
"What has happened is sad and unfortunate. I will speak to the chief minister on the issue, as the home minister is ill," Shirodkar said.
Kauthankar was lobbying for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the police-politician-drug mafia nexus in the state.
The opposition has already demanded a CBI probe into the matter, in which Naik's son Roy has been linked by the Israeli media.
Kauthankar, who had started a signature campaign demanding a central probe in the drug scandal, had also sought the arrest of a key Crime Branch official, who he said was linked to the drugs mafia.