Former Congress MLA Munnalal Goyal was on Tuesday assaulted by locals when he visited the family of a young Dalit activist who was murdered in Gwalior the day before.
Nineteen-year-old Paras Jauhri was attacked by armed assailants and murdered on Monday night inside his home in Footi Colony in Jatav Mohalla. Local media reported that young activist who was in second year of BA was a witness in a case of vandalisation of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar’s statue.
Goyal said he was attacked when he had gone to visit the family, whose residence falls in his erstwhile constituency, to offer condolences.
Goyal, who represented Gwalior East in the assembly, is considered to be a staunch loyalist of Jyotiraditya Scindia and left the Congress for the BJP shortly after the erstwhile royal’s exit from the grand old party. Goyal had later even claimed that the Congress was trying to “eliminate” him.
He has alleged that when he reached the police station, five to 10 people pelted stones on his four-wheeler, damaging the vehicle. Goyal sustained injuries on his face and leg. He was taken to a private hospital for treatment.
Though Goyal did not lodge any complaint with the police, the latter are trying to zero in on the attackers with the help of CCTV footage.
Later in the afternoon, Goyal appeared before the media and accused the Congress, saying it was coming after him because of his “growing influence” in the Dalit community. “They can inflict as many attacks as they want, but I will continue to serve the public,” he said.
Hitting back, Congress leader and Dalit activist Devashish Jararia said Goyal hadn’t gone to express condolence to the family. “Goyal went there to ask the family not to name anyone in the FIR and settle the matter, which enraged locals,” Jararia told News18, adding that the bereaved family was protesting with the body of the deceased at the police station.
According to the police, Jauhri’s family said that he was studying on the first floor of the house and rushed downstairs late at night with multiple wounds. His mother said she had seen some locals flee after the assault. The 19year-old was unable to speak because of his and was declared brought dead at a hospital, his family said.
The family has named five locals, while two others are also suspects in the case.
Police had lodged a case into the murder, and locals gathered at the Sirole police station on Tuesday morning.
- With inputs from Sushil Kaushik in Gwalior