Senior NCP Leader Jitendra Awhad Arrested For Vandalism In A Bid To Disrupt Screening Of Marathi Movie 'Har Har Mahadev'
Senior NCP leader and former state housing minister Jitendra Awhad was arrested by police today (Nov 11) afternoon for indulging in the act of vandalism in a bid to disrupt the screening of a Marathi film 'Har Har Mahadev' at a multiplex in the city's Viviana Mall earlier this week.
The Thane police had earlier registered a first information report (FIR) against Awhad and 100 workers of NCP for barging into a multiplex in the city on Monday (Nov 7) to stop the late-night screening of the film. The case was filed on a complaint by a local resident who came to watch the movie but was attacked by Awhad's supporters when he demanded a refund of the money paid to watch the movie.
Awhad was booked under Sections 141, 143, 146, 149, 323, and 504 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 37/135 of the Mumbai Police Act.
The legislator from Mumbra and his supporters stormed the multiplex, alleging that the movie distorted the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji to create political hype.
The movie is based on the life of Baji Prabhu Deshpande, a general of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who died in a crucial rear-guard battle that allowed the king to escape from a fort.
"History has been distorted in this movie. Even the presentation of Mawlas (foot soldiers) have been depicted wrongly… It depicts Marathas and Marathis as two entities. Shockingly, there is a scene where Bajiprabhu wields sword against Shivaji… this is ridiculous," Indian Express quoted Ahwad as saying.
Reacting to the controversy, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has issued a warning to those indulging in vandalism.
"If anyone indulges in vandalism and 'dadagiri', it will not be tolerated." he said.
"I have not seen the movie. I don't know what the objections are… If there are any objections, those should be resolved by holding discussions." he added.
The state unit of BJP had demanded the arrest of Awhad.
BJP state chief Chandrashekhar Bavankule said, "The movie depicts Shivaji slaying Afzal Khan… And Awhad seems to have objection to this, he has hurt national sentiments. He should be arrested.".
Awhad, who began his career as a students' union activist, became the state president of the Youth Congress in the mid-1990s. He is married to former Air India air hostess Ruta, the daughter of Dada Samant, the brother of late trade union leader Datta Samant.
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