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MP Urination Case: 'What Will Happen to Us Once All This Goes Away,' Asks Victim

"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

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Video Producers: Vishnukant Tiwari and Garima Sadhwani

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

"Today the government has ensured justice to us, but once all the attention fades away, what will happen to us? I fear for our future," said 35-year-old daily wage labour Dashmat Rawat, standing in a corner of his kutcha house in Kubri village in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, as he stared at a group of people gathered outside his house.

Dashmat is half-ecstatic and half-terrified ever since he met with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday, 6 July, days after a video of BJP worker Pravesh Shukla allegedly urinating on him went viral.

For two days before his meeting with the chief minister, he was with the Sidhi administration, while his wife Asha, not knowing his whereabouts, was worried sick.

As he pulled up a chair to talk to The Quint, Dashmat's house swarmed with villagers, police officials, ASHA workers, panchayat-level officials, and journalists.

"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

Sidhi's district collector Saket Malviya (left) met Dashmat Rawat and his family on Friday, 7 July.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

"The incident happened in 2020. It was around 10 pm, and I was sitting on the stairs outside a shop when he (Pravesh Shukla) came and urinated on me. I didn't even look up. I didn't even see his face at that time. And I didn't talk about this to anyone."
Dashmat Rawat

Dashmat's wife Asha, who was hesitant at first to talk to this reporter, told The Quint that she learned about the incident when her husband didn't return on the night of 3 July.

"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

Dashmat's wife Asha outside their house in Kubri village.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

“After watching the video, I thought, what is happening to my husband? He is a common man who makes Rs 100-200 a day. He never says no to anyone for work, and he has no enemies. Whatever happened to him is wrong. It shouldn't happen to anyone."
Asha, Dashmat Rawat's wife
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'Concerned for Safety, Want Normalcy'

Both Dashmat and Asha expressed concern for their safety in the future even as they yearn for normalcy.

"The government has ensured justice to us. We got to the accused with their help, but in the village, we aren't equals. We will never be, and so I am worried about my future, my husband's future, and that of my kids."
Asha, Dashmat Rawat's wife

The concerns of Dashmat's family stand despite being reassured about their safety by the chief minister.

"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

The scene outside Dashmat's house on Friday, 7 July.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

“When the forces leave, we will be at risk of getting beaten up. I have three children. What will happen to them?” asked Dashmat again.

A villager, who had come to Dashmat's house to stand in solidarity with him, told The Quint that casteism is the way of life in their village – and that the incident was "just an upper-caste man flaunting his societal status". Dashmat is a member of the Kol tribe, the largest tribal community in the state's Vindhya region.

"Everybody is thinking justice has prevailed, but it hasn't. Being treated like a second-class citizen has been a part of our lives since ages. The way of our society is casteist and in our area upper-caste men and women are gods while the lower-class people like us are their servants."
Villager
"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

A villager who had come to Dashmat's house to stand in unity with him told The Quint that casteism is the way of life in their village and that the incident was just an upper caste man flauting his societal status.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

Asha further said that she wants all things to go back to how they were before this video went viral, and requested normalcy.

"We are happy with the actions. We want the country to be at peace now and want all thing to go back to normalcy."
Asha, Dashmat Rawat's wife
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Accused's Family, Locals Condemn Demolition

The Quint also spoke with the accused Pravesh Shukla's family whose house was demolished in the wake of the viral video.

Shukla, who is reportedly an aide of BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla, was arrested on the night of 4 July, and slapped with charges under the SC/ST Act and the stringent National Security Act (NSA).

Questioning the legality of the demolition, Pravesh's father Ramakant Shukla told The Quint:

"If my son is guilty, you hang him, do everything that the legal purview allows, but why make us suffer? It was a house built with my hard-earned money, the land is my ancestral land. Pravesh didn't even invest a penny in this house, yet it was demolished. All my family members are in shock, the children are afraid, is this justice?"
"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

Pravesh's father Ramakant Shukla outside their demolished house.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

Almost one-third of the house was demolished on 5 July, citing "illegal construction", with Ramakant alleging that he was given a 24-hour notice before bulldozers showed up at his door.

"They arrested Pravesh on the night of 4 July. The next morning I was handed over a notice saying I have illegally constructed my house, and that I have 24 hours to remove the illegal construction. Within hours, my house was demolished. This is grave injustice to my family. Pravesh's case shouldn't punish us, we didn't do anything wrong."
Ramakant Shukla, Pravesh's father

The Quint spoke to several people from different communities in Sidhi, and all of them, including the victim's family and other Adivasis, condemned the demolition of the house of the accused's family.

"We don't even destroy a bird's nest here," say locals, condemning the demolition of accused Pravesh Shukla's house.

The Quint spoke to several people from different communities in Sidhi, and all of them, including the victim's family and other Adivasis, condemned the demolition of the house of the accused's family.

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint)

An Adivasi member from the Kol community, requesting not to be named, said:

"We want the strictest punishment for Pravesh, but nothing for his family. The destruction of his house is wrong. It is yet another crime. It's the rainy season... we don't even destroy a bird's nest here, and we are talking about an entire family of humans whose house has been destroyed. I will say it again, punish the culprit, not the crime."

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