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After Pune, Jitendra Awhad booked in Mumbai for 'Lord Ram was non-vegetarian' remark

Updated on: 06 January,2024 12:33 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Jitendra Awhad has been charged by Mumbai police for his controversial comments about Lord Ram. He said Lord Ram was 'non-vegetarian' at Shirdi event.

After Pune, Jitendra Awhad booked in Mumbai for 'Lord Ram was non-vegetarian' remark

Jitendra Awhad/ File pic

Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Pawar faction leader Jitendra Awhad has been formally charged at a police station in Mumbai following his controversial comments regarding Lord Ram, as confirmed by the police on Friday.

According to police sources, Awhad is facing charges under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for his statement claiming that Lord Ram was a non-vegetarian, which created outrage and resulted in the case being filed at the MIDC police station in Mumbai.

During an event in Shirdi on Wednesday, the NCP MLA said that contrary to common belief, Lord Ram belonged to the 'Bahujans' (majority) and ate non-vegetarian food.

"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. He (Lord Ram) was not a vegetarian, he was non-vegetarian," Awhad said while addressing an event in Shirdi on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Awhad attempted to back up his claim by citing a research paper on the Valmiki Ramayana conducted by IIT Kanpur. He attempted to stress that his point of view was based on a 'genuine' rendition of the old scripture, not his interpretation.

Awhad apologised if his views had hurt anyone and stated that he based his remarks on the content of the Valmiki Ramayana, explicitly quoting verses from the text to support his position.

"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. I do express regret if my words offended someone's feelings. I did not wish to hurt anyone's sentiments," he said apologising. 

According to the ANI report, the NCP leader restated his position, emphasising that his words were based on the principles he upholds but that he had no intention of hurting feelings.

"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. 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 was quoted as saying. 

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Ram Kadam filed a complaint against Awhad in Mumbai, expressing shock over the disputed words and claiming disrespect for Lord Ram and devotee sensibilities.

"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. 

With ANI inputs

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