By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL – The concept of instant justice in the form of “bull-dozer justice” is a travesty of justice wherein instead of taking action only against the accused the entire family is penalised for no fault of theirs.
This has become the norm nowadays in Madhya Pradesh while following in the foot-steps of Yogi Government of Uttar Pradesh. This is going on in broad daylight while the judiciary at all levels is looking the other way instead of taking suo moto actions against the governments and their representatives of the day.
The bull-dozer justice against the accused of crimes is implemented by demolishing their homes being practiced by the Madhya Pradesh Government led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. This will be challenged in the state High Court by the Madhya Pradesh unit of Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Samaj.
This has been stated by the Brahmin Samaj in a Press statement wherein it has opposed the demolition of the house in which the Pee-Gate accused Pravesh Shukla in the Sidhi urination case lived.
Brahmin Samaj says wrong to punish someone else
The MP unit of Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Samaj has said that a person like accused Pravesh Shukla is “not acceptable in any caste or society”. “What he did is highly condemnable and unforgivable, but it is wrong to punish someone else,” says the statement. “The organization will submit a petition in MP High Court against the demolition of the house of the Shukla family members,” state president of the Samaj, Pushpendra Mishra, said.
Role of police not above board
Meanwhile, the role of the police in Sidhi Pee-Gate case was not above board. Initially, they tried to hush up case and kept away from acting against the culprit Pravesh Shukla, though they were aware of it.
Nevertheless, when a video clip of the incident went viral and kicked up a storm across the country, they swung into action. The role of Pravesh’s father Ramakant Shukla was also dubious. Ramakant, seen crying before the camera after his house was bulldozed, was aware of his son’s criminal act.
Accused father pretending to be innocent
On the one hand, Ramakant was pretending to be innocent. On the other hand, sources said it was Ramakant, who forced Dashmat Rawat to write an affidavit that no such incident had taken place’.
According to sources, it was Ramakant who put pressure on Rawat’s family to settle the issue. All the more, a missing person’s report was lodged in the police station, so that the video should not go viral. According to reports, Dashmat Rawat used to work in the house of Pravesh Shukla.
Rawat left the job after a dispute with Shukla. On the day, when the incident took place, Shukla beat him up and peed on Rawat. Shukla made a video of the incident with the help of an acquaintance Deendayal Sahu. Sahu showed the video to his house owner Adarsha Shukla.
Sources further said Adarsh lodged an oral complaint to the police about the incident. Now, the police have made Adarsh and Deendayal accused in the case. Although Adarsh brought the case to the notice of the police, they did not take any action because of political pressure.
Storm across MP
When Adarsh made the video viral on social media, there was a storm across the state and the police plunged into action. When Shukla was being taken to the police station, it was clear that local cops were under his influence.
According to locals, the police were trying to suppress the case because of political pressure, but since the video clip went viral, the police had to act under the government’s pressure. Nevertheless, the government did not act against the policemen for trying to sweep the case under the carpet. Home Minister Narottam Mishra said the government had ordered an inquiry into the role of the policemen.
Demolishing law and its unconstitutionality!
Meanwhile, the Times of India in its 8th July 2023 edition has editorially commented that: “A Brahmin pees on a tribal – the outrage you feel is almost inexpressible. The state responds – and the unconstitutionality of its action leaves you equally disbelieving.
When the first incident happened in MP, the government simply had to apply the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and then pursue the prosecution zealously. That extra effort would have been required because convictions under this Act are rare and investigations are usually shoddy. The Supreme Court diluted the law in 2018, but upheld the amendments to overturn the dilution in 2020. GOI had argued Dalits and tribals continued to encounter indignity, harassment and, as seems to be the case in MP, intimidation aimed at shutting up victims.
But the appalling nature of the offence doesn’t call for forgetting the law. MP first booked the person under the National Security Act – an extraordinary misapplication – and then, as seems to have become regular affairs in UP and MP, demolished the house the accused and his family called home. A family is homeless now, through an official action that has no grounding in law. But then, Yogi Adityanath apparently got popular support in UP for bulldozing houses, so Shivraj Singh Chouhan, facing polls in a few months, had copied that playbook. The law doesn’t appear to be relevant to those holding constitutional offices.
Bulldozing, though, is not a cast-iron political strategy. If Chouhan is thinking of the tribal vote, he should consider that the demolition can produce upper caste anger of the kind that regular prosecution may not have. And also, if this anger means more atrocities against local tribals, then the tribal vote is not a sure shot either. Tribals, in such situations and in pretty much any state they are located, always fear repercussions once police protection is removed. Politicians, however, won’t stop bulldozing. SC has to step in and call it what it is – unconstitutional”, the editorial said.