NCP leader Jitendra Awhad booked in Mumbai for objectionable remarks on Lord Ram | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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NCP leader Jitendra Awhad booked in Mumbai for objectionable remarks on Lord Ram

ANI |
Jan 06, 2024 09:30 AM IST

Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Pawar faction leader Jitendra Awhad has been booked at a police station here over his controversial remarks on Lord Ram, police said on Friday.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 6 (ANI): Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Pawar faction leader Jitendra Awhad has been booked at a police station here over his controversial remarks on Lord Ram, police said on Friday.

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As per police, a case has been registered against Awhad at the MIDC police station in Mumbai under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for his statement that Lord Ram was a non-vegetarian.

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The NCP MLA on Wednesday claimed that Lord Ram belonged to the 'Bahujans' (people in majority) and was a non-vegetarian, contrary to common belief.

"Lord Ram is ours. He belongs to the Bahujans. Lord Ram, who hunts and eats (flesh) is ours, we belong to the Bahujans. Some people make us out to be vegetarians. But we follow the ideals of Lord Ram and today we consume mutton. This is in keeping with the ideals of Lord Ram," Awhad said while addressing an event in Shirdi on Wednesday.

"Ram was not a vegetarian, he was non-vegetarian," he added.

Nevertheless, on Thursday, the seasoned member of the NCP and a significant associate of the party's patriarch, Sharad Pawar, attempted to justify his statement by referencing a research paper on the Valmiki Ramayana conducted by IIT Kanpur.

Additionally, he appealed for forgiveness from the public, expressing remorse if his remarks had offended anyone's sentiments. Awhad maintained that he did not present his personal interpretation on the matter but rather grounded his opinion in an 'authentic' version of the Valmiki Ramayana.

Speaking at a press conference in Mumbai, Awhad pointed to the extensive research conducted by IIT Kanpur on this version of the Ramayana.

"Look, I am telling you I did not bring my own interpretation or views into it. I did not incorporate any ideas of my own. I based my opinion on whatever is written in Valmiki Ramayana," asserted the NCP leader, resolutely defending his stance amidst strong opposition from the BJP and the country's seer community.

However, saying he regretted his remarks if they hurt public sentiments, the NCP leader said, "I do express regret if my words offended someone's feelings. I did not wish to hurt anyone's sentiments."

Emphasizing that he did not manipulate or misrepresent the Valmiki Ramayana, which was scripted eons back, Awhad outlined the six khands (chapters) of the ancient text -- Balakand, Ayodhyakand, Aranyakand, Kishkindakhand, Sunderkand, and Yudhkand.

"Valmiki Ramayana has six khands. What does the 120th verse of the Ayodhya khand say? My remarks were based on the verses from Valmiki Ramayana. Please read the Valmiki Ramayana and you will know for yourself," the NCP leader said.

"I have an authentic version of the Ramayana, which was written eighteen hundred years ago. This book was printed in Kolkata in 1891. IIT Kanpur has even published a research paper on it. And what I said is already in the public domain," the NCP leader added.

He asserted that his words were a reflection of the ideas and principles that he holds dear, reiterating, however, that he did not intend to offend anyone's sentiments.

Outraged over Awhad's controversial statement, BJP MLA Ram Kadam filed a complaint against the NCP leader in Mumbai.

"It is their mindset to hurt the sentiments of the Ram bhakts. However, we won't tolerate it if they make fun of our Sanatan Dharm for votes. The realisation of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya doesn't seem to have gone down well with the ghamandiya (arrogant) alliance," Kadam said. (ANI)

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