The Sidhi administration in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday demolished a part of the home of Pravesh Shukla, who was arrested for urinating on an Adivasi man, The Indian Express reported.
Shukla was booked under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section 294 (obscene act) and 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code on Tuesday.
The National Security Act, which allows for detention for up to a year without trial, was also invoked against him.
The development came after a video purportedly showing Shukla urinating on the man was widely shared on social media.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took cognisance of the video on Tuesday and directed authorities to take strict action against the accused man.
While the Congress has alleged that Shukla was associated with Sidhi MLA Kedarnath Shukla, the legislator has denied the claim.
On Wednesday, Sidhi Sub Divisional Magistrate RP Tripathi said that upon investigation, it was found that Shukla had been involved in criminal cases in the past.
“On checking the legality of his property, it was found that one-third of it is illegal,” Tripathi said, according to ANI. “Government is taking action to remove their illegal constructions.”
As bulldozers arrived at Shukla’s house, his family pleaded with the administration claiming that the house belonged to his father and other members of the family.
His father, however, claimed the video in question was fake and it was all part of a “conspiracy” to trap his family. “Our boy just can’t do that,” he said, according to The Indian Express.
While there is no legal provision to destroy the property of anyone accused of an offence, Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state governments have been increasingly resorting to demolishing properties of accused persons. Most of these drives have been targeted at properties owned by Muslims.
Meanwhile, a tweet from an account managed by the chief minister’s team said that the action against Shukla is a clear message from Chouhan to criminals.
“...If needed, Mama ji [Shivraj Singh Chouhan] will bury criminals 10 feet below the ground,” the tweet said. “Mama ji’s message is clear, that is why those with ill intentions need to think 10 times before committing a crime in Madhya Pradesh.”