Protests Ignite in Maharashtra Over Jitendra Awhad's Ambedkar Poster Incident

BJP workers in Maharashtra protested against NCP(SP) MLA Jitendra Awhad for tearing up posters with Dr. Ambedkar's image. Awhad apologized, stating his intention was to oppose Manusmriti's inclusion in school curricula. Protests erupted statewide, and a case has been filed against Awhad under several IPC sections.

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 30-05-2024 17:34 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 17:34 IST
Protests Ignite in Maharashtra Over Jitendra Awhad's Ambedkar Poster Incident
Jitendra Awhad
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Bharatiya Janata Party workers held protests in parts of Maharashtra on Thursday against NCP (SP) MLA Jitendra Awhad, accusing him of insulting Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Former state minister Awhad apologised on Wednesday for tearing up posters denouncing the Manusmriti which also had a picture of Ambedkar on them.

Awhad had taken part in a protest at Mahad in Raigad district against the state government's alleged plans to introduce some verses from the Manusmriti in school curriculum.

The ancient text supported the caste system and denigrated women, he had said earlier, asking people to oppose the decision.

A controversy erupted after videos of that protest showed Awhad tearing up a stack of posters which also had Ambedkar's picture on them.

The BJP workers on Thursday staged protests at key locations in various cities of the state, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane and Nashik, condemning Awhad's act.

A case has been registered against Awhad at Bundgarden police station in Pune on complaint of a BJP functionary under Indian Penal Code sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth), 295 (destroying, damaging or defiling a place of worship or sacred object).

State NCP (SP) president Jayant Patil in a post on X on Thursday said, ''Jitendra Awhad has been actively working to protect the teachings of Dr Ambedkar. Nobody can doubt his integrity and dedication towards Dr Ambedkar. He has already tendered an apology for what unintentionally happened during the protest. I am confident that followers of Ambedkar will not fall prey to false campaign of the opposition.'' Reposting Patil's comments on his X handle, Awhad said he no longer feels alone.

Meanwhile, state minister and senior leader of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP Chhagan Bhujbal said, ''Awhad's intention was good to go to Mahad. He tore the poster of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar unintentionally and mistakenly. Others also followed him. However, he has tendered an apology in this matter. Therefore, his feelings should be understood.'' Criticizing him just because he is an opponent is not right, Bhujbal told reporters in Nashik.

In Nashik, BJP and MNS workers protested against Awhad, with the ruling party's city unit chief Prashant Jadhav accusing the NCP(SP) leader of insulting crores of followers of Ambedkar.

Protesters also burnt an effigy of Awhad in Shivaji Road area and held agitations in Pimpalgaon Baswant, Malegaon, Yeola, Manmad and other parts of Nashik.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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