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Fact-Check: Old Clip Viral as NCP Leader Attacked For Remarks on Lord Rama

The viral video was created by merging two old videos and shared with a false context.

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A video created by compiling two clips showing two groups engaged in a physical fight on a stage and another showing Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad walking down a flight of stairs amid pouring rain is being shared on social media platforms.

What is the claim?: Those sharing have claimed that the NCP leader was attacked by a mob for his "disrespectful comments" against Hindu god, Lord Rama.

The viral video was created by merging two old videos and shared with a false context.

An archive of the post can be found here

(Source: X/Screenshot) 

(Archives of similar claims can be found here, here and here.)

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What did Awhad say?: On 3 January, while addressing party workers in Shirdi, Awhad remarked that Rama was a "non-vegetarian".

  • He also said that the god belonged to the Bahujan community. Awhad added that, "Rama used to hunt and eat. You want us to become vegetarians, but we consider him our ideal and eat mutton."

  • This garnered widespread criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), right-wing religious groups that have demanded his arrest.

  • These comments have not sat well within the Maha Vikas Aghadi as well.

Is this true?: The claim is false.

  • The first video dates back to July 2015, when Awhad's speech was interrupted by the Shiv Pratishthan group at Sangli.

  • NCP leader opposed the decision of the then Maharashtra government, led by the BJP, to award the state's Bhushan award to historian Babasaheb Purandare, leading to a fight between the Prathisthan group and Awhad's workers as the former tried to attack him on stage.

  • The second video of Awhad in the rain dates back to November 2023. This, too, predates his latest remarks on Lord Rama.

How did we find out the truth?:

CLIP 1: We divided the viral video into multiple keyframes and ran a Google reverse image search on some of them.

  • We came across a video report by the Marathi-language news channel, Zee 24 Taas from 20 July 2015.

  • The headline on the screen read, 'Attempts to attack Jitendra Awhad.' (translated from Marathi to English.)

  • We compared some frames of the viral video with the Zee 24 video and found similarities.

The viral video was created by merging two old videos and shared with a false context.

Here are the similarities between the two frames. 

(Altered by The Quint

  • Similarly, we also found a report by India Today from 21 July 2015 that narrated the incident.

  • Awhad was attending an event organised by Maratha groups in Sangli where they opposed the Maharashtra government's decision to give the state's Bhushan award to Babasaheb Purandare.

  • A group called Shiv Pratishthan, in favour of the government's decision, were unhappy with NCP leader's comments. They rushed to the stage to attack him, but the leader was taken away in time.

  • The scuffle broke out between the Awhad's workers and the other group.

CLIP 2: We ran a Google reverse image search on the second clip showing Jitendra Awhad walking in the rain and came across the same video uploaded on his official YouTube channel on 27 November 2023.

  • Awhad made the controversial statement on Lord Ram on 3 January hence, this clip predates the incident.

  • Additionally, we did not find any recent reports or videos that suggest that the leader was publicly attacked by a mob for his controversial statements against Lord Ram.

Conclusion: Both the clips in the viral video are old and unrelated have been shared as recent, falsely linking to Awhad's comments on Lord Ram.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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