Maharashtra: NCP’s Jitendra Ahwad Arrested for Opposing Screening of Marathi Film ‘Har Har Mahadev’

Amid the ongoing row between political parties over historical Marathi film ‘Har Har Mahadev’ in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Ahwad was arrested by Thane’s Vartak Nagar police station on Friday. His arrest was prompted by his protest against the screening of the Marathi film in a local theatre in a few days back, Thane Police said. Reports had suggested that several moviegoers were roughed up for opting to see the film, an incident orchestrated by Ahwad.

According to Ahwad, the film helmed by actors Subodh Bhave and Sharad Kelkar, distorted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s history to create political hype. He also slammed makers of the film for showing Baji Prabhu Deshpande in a bad light.

An FIR was registered soon after the incident, against senior NCP leader and former state minister Jitendra Awhad and at least 100 others by the Thane Police for allegedly roughing up spectators. An agitation was also held against the movie at another multiplex in the north Maharashtra city by the Nationalist Youth Congress (NYC), a PTI report said on Tuesday.

Sambhaji Chhatrapati, who is a descendent of Shivaji Maharaj, also expressed displeasure over the Marathi film. “Several movies are creating a stir for hurting sentiments. Using the term cinematic liberty, inaccuracies have been displayed in the recently released ‘Har Har Mahadev.” he said on Monday.

Several BJP and Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena (MNS) leaders however, came forward in support of the film. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis had said beating up moviegoers for watching historical Marathi film will not be tolerated and action will be taken against people involved in such incidents.

“The NCP stopping the screening of the movie is condemnable. The party is trying to give caste colour to the movie,” MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said, an Indian Express report said.

In Pune, the show was disrupted by members of a Maratha outfit, while in Thane, NCP leader and former minister Jitendra Awhad allegedly led activists to stall the night screening of the movie at a multiplex.

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