Who is Pravesh Shukla? The BJP MLA aide from MP who urinated on a tribal worker

Pravesh Shukla is allegedly a representative of BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla, from Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district

Pravesh Shukla (left);screen grab of the viral video that shows the BJP worker urinating on a tribal worker (photo: IANS)
Pravesh Shukla (left);screen grab of the viral video that shows the BJP worker urinating on a tribal worker (photo: IANS)

NH Digital

A 10-second video of a man urinating on a tribal worker while nonchalantly smoking a cigarette in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district went viral on Tuesday, July 4.

It deservedly created an uproar on social media and triggered widespread condemnation from civil society and Opposition parties alike. Opposition parties, because the accused was quickly identified as Pravesh Shukla, a local Hindu Brahmin man who also happened to be a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker and a close aide of MLA Kedarnath Shukla.

The man he assaulted and humiliated has been identified as 36-year-old Dashmat Rawat, a member of the Kol tribe, from Sidhi.

While the motive behind Shukla’s deplorable act is yet to be ascertained, it has been found that Rawat was coerced into signing an affidavit, claiming that the video is entirely fabricated and that Shukla did not commit any such acts against the victim.

The BJP, meanwhile, categorically denied any associations with Shukla. MLA Kedarnath Shukla on Tuesday claimed that the accused was not his representative and neither have they ever interacted. “I know him because he is from my constituency, but he is not my representative or a BJP worker,” NDTV quoted him as saying.

However, several viral images indicated Shukla’s associations with BJP leaders, and his own Facebook profile explicitly mentions his affiliation with the ruling party. According to sources, a BJP member's identity card was found on him, serving as further confirmation of his association with the ruling party at the Centre. Shukla’s name is also listed on the BJP Yuva Morcha's roster of Sidhi candidates.

Following the mass demands for justice and massive outrage—including calls for his immediate arrest and the demolition of his house using a bulldozer, MP police on Wednesday, July 5, arrested him and pressed charges under provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and National Security Act (NSA).

On the same day, in the morning, the district administration demolished his home address, a house owned by his father Ramakant Shukla, using JCB machines. Visuals showed the accused’s parents pleading to the authority to not raze their house down to the ground.

"He is a representative of the BJP MLA, which is why he is being targeted by the Opposition. I hope there will be a thorough investigation in this case, and justice will be served," Shukla’s father told the media. 

Meanwhile, in a move widely perceived as a face-saving tactic ahead of the upcoming Legislative Assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met the victim on Thursday and washed his feet at CM House in Bhopal.

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