The man accused of urinating on a tribal’s face in MP’s Sidhi was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday and booked under the National Security Act (NSA). A portion of his house was razed late afternoon even as protests by tribals and Dalits erupted in parts of the state, including Indore. There was no explanation from the authorities on why the alleged crime attracted charges under the NSA.
Suspect Pravesh Shukla was apprehended from the outskirts of his native village Kubri. He faces charges also under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and IPC for obscenity and intentional insult to provoke breach of peace. Sidhi SP Ravindra Verma said, “The illegal construction at his house in Kubri has been razed. We have also arrested the person who shot that video and booked him under the IT Act.”
Teams from the district administration and police went to Pravesh’s ancestral house in Kubri on Wednesday morning, checked the plot and building details and found that nearly a third of it had been built illegally, said sources. It was pulled down, said sources. The main dwelling has been left intact.
The accused deserves to be booked under SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. But charging him under NSA and razing a portion of his house is gross overreach and abuse of state power. Playing to the gallery in such a manner makes a mockery of the judicial process. If the state acts like a vigilante, who will uphold the law? The state is duty bound to follow the rule book.
The incident has triggered political turmoil in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, especially because of pictures and posters on social media that allege Pravesh has links with Sidhi BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla. The lawmaker has said Pravesh isn’t even a BJP member and denied that he is his representative.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi condemned the incident, tweeting: “Atrocities on tribal brothers and sisters are increasing in BJP rule. Humanity has been put to shame by the inhuman crime of a BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh. This is the disgusting face and real character of BJP’s hatred towards tribals and Dalits!”
In Bhopal, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that a criminal has no “caste, religion or party”. “A criminal is a criminal and will be dealt with accordingly. It’s an inhuman act,” the CM said.
, when asked about Congress’s demand for “bulldozer action” against the accused, told agencies, “Bulldozer action is not taken on the basis of Congress’s demand.
runs only when there is an encroachment.”