Highlights

  • NCP leader Jitendra Awhad booked for hurting sentiments
  • Pune Police take action on BJP's complaint
  • Awhad's apology fails to pacify BJP

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NCP leader Jitendra Awhad booked for 'Lord Ram was a meat-eater' comment

Acting on a complaint filed by the BJP, the Pune Police has booked NCP leader from the Sharad Pawar faction, Jitendra Awhad, for hurting religious sentiment with his 'Lord Ram ate meat' comment.

NCP leader Jitendra Awhad booked for 'Lord Ram was a meat-eater' comment

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from the Sharad Pawar faction, Jitendra Awhad, was booked by police for saying that Lord Ram was a meat eater on Friday. Acting on a complaint filed by Pune BJP chief Dheeraj Ghate, the Pune Police charged Awhad for hurting religious sentiments.

An FIR was registered at Vishrambaugh Police station under Indian Penal Code section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs).

While addressing a gathering in Maharashtra's Shirdi, Awhad said that Ram belonged to Bahujans and was a non-vegetarian.

"Lord Ram belongs to us, Bahujans. He used to hunt and eat animals. He is a Bahujan. They are trying to make everyone a vegetarian by giving Lord Ram's example. But Lord Ram was not a vegetarian, he was a non-vegetarian. A person who has stayed in the forest for 14 years, where will he go to find vegetarian food?" Awhad said.

But the remarks drew strong condemnation from seers, the BJP leaders, and the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, which gathered outside his Mumbai home and raised slogans against him on Thursday night.

Under pressure, the NCP leader clarified his earlier statement saying that his assertion was based on an "authentic" version of Valmiki 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," said the NCP leader, defending his remark at a press conference in Mumbai.

"I do express regret if my words offended someone's feelings. I did not wish to hurt anyone's sentiments," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The political row comes ahead of the grand consecration of the new Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya later this month.

(With inputs from agencies)


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