Nearly 24 hours after a video showing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) representative urinating on a tribal man in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district went viral on social media, the district administration demolished parts of the house of the accused Pravesh Shukla on Wednesday, 5 July.
The accused was arrested and charged under provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and National Security Act (NSA) late on Tuesday night, 4 July.
As the district administration reached his house on Wednesday afternoon with bulldozers, the accused's mother and family members were seen begging them not to carry out the demolition, as per visuals from the ground.
The viral video showed BJP leader Pravesh Shukla – who is reportedly an aide of BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla – urinating on a tribal man identified as 36-year-old Dashmat Rawat, a member of the Kol tribe in Sidhi, sparking a political row in Madhya Pradesh.
With the matter having escalated to a demolition, The Quint digs deeper into the background and political associations of Pravesh Shukla.
A BJP Worker, Local Contractor, and 'Henchman'
Pravesh Shukla is a resident of Kubri village in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh.
Hours after the video went viral on Tuesday, 4 July, Pravesh's father Ramakant Shukla told the media that he has been an active politician in the area and has been working as a representative of BJP Kedarnath Shukla for the last 4-5 years.
In fact, several images of Pravesh attending functions and rallies with BJP leaders, including the local MLA as well as Home Minister Narottam Mishra, surfaced after the incident.
In one such purported image, Pravesh is seen behind the home minister, cheering him on.
In another image, he is seen sitting with Kedarnath Shukla, and in yet another photo, the MLA is seen feeding him sweets.
Despite BJP leaders initially refuting claims of Pravesh Shukla's association with the party, a list that contains the BJP's youth wing leaders in Sidhi purportedly names Pravesh as the vice-president of the Kuchwahi Mandal Youth Wing.
Local sources alleged to The Quint that Pravesh, who is 'protected' by the BJP MLA, operates as a contractor in the area, taking up petty construction contracts. He also works as an 'enforcer' for the MLA, locals claimed.
Sources also said that Pravesh was involved in an incident of the alleged stripping of journalists and theatre artistes inside a police station in Sidhi, which stirred a political row over the safety of journalists in the state.
Eight people, including a journalist and theatre artistes, were stripped inside the Kotwali police station over allegations of defaming MLA Kedarnath Shukla.
One of the people who underwent the humiliation said, "In both the cases, the common name is that of MLA Kedarnath Shukla, and Pravesh was sort of his henchman who would abuse people, create a ruckus, and beat them up."
"Our MLA unfortunately operates this way with terror and intimidation," he added.