A 23-second clip of a speech made by NCP leader Jitendra Awhad at Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, is viral on social media with the claim that he made disrespectful comments about the Sindhi community. In the viral clip, where the politician is allegedly making the ‘disrespectful remark’, the audio has been emphasized and repeated thrice to establish the claim.

Twitter Blue user Sameet Thakkar, who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has a following of over 1,27,000, shared the above clip on May 31 with the caption: “100 Sindhi Dog 🐕Mafia of Mumbra insults whole Sindhi Samaj. FIR should be filled against him. This is Rahul Gandhi Modi Samaj type moment of Jitendra Ahwad.” The tweet has received over 80,000 views and has been retweeted over 500 times. (Archive)

Another Twitter Blue user, @khadaksingh_, also shared the clip with a caption in Marathi which said: “Public protest against Jitendra Awhad for insulting the Sindhi community.” The tweet has received over 10,000 views and has been retweeted over 100 times. (Archive)

Several other users shared the same clip on social media with similar claims. Some can be found below.

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Further, an FIR was lodged against Jitendra Awhad by the Thane police based on the statement of a local hotelier. The FIR was registered under Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc) 153B, 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens) and 298 (deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person) of the IPC.

News Agency ANI tweeted the news update saying, “Maharashtra | FIR registered against NCP leader Jitendra Awhad at Hill Line Police Station for his remarks against Sindhi community. Sections 153A, 153B, 295 A and 298 of the IPC invoked in the FIR: Thane Police.” (Archive)

Fact Check

Through a keyword search, we found a longer clip of the speech video uploaded on YouTube by a Marathi news channel Saam TV. We slowed down the audio to understand what is being said. It is clear that he does not make any reference to the Sindhi community in this clip. Jitendra Awhad can be heard saying “Junglee kutte” (wild dogs) and in the viral claims the term ‘junglee‘ has been misrepresented as ‘Sindhi’.

We also found that Jitendra Awhad himself tweeted a video collage on June 1 comprising two clips where the viral clip was titled ‘Edited video’ and another clip was titled ‘Original video’.

The caption said, “In Ulhasnagar since I praised and supported Mr Pappu Kalani, who is a leader from my side, someone from the Sindhi community morphed the video of my speech to defame me and circulated it in their community. I am sharing the original video now. Who is provoking the Sindhi community by playing morphed videos for the past two days? You know that more than me. This incident happened in Ulhasnagar. A false FIR was also lodged against me. I want to ask the government now that both the morphed video and the original video have surfaced, against whom will the case be made now? Before knowing the truth, a case cannot be made on false statements and false evidence. The respect I have for the Sindhi society was there yesterday, is there today and will always be there. But this dirty man who is against me, I will definitely get him bathed in the Ganges. Leaders of the Shinde faction/BJP also listened…. How much will you try to trap me? @ThaneCityPolice you are in such a hurry to register cases against me as if I am a habitual criminal … now register a complaint against those who registered FIR against me ..” (Archive)

Twitter user @niiravmodi shared the same clip shot from a different angle and there too one can clearly hear the politician saying “junglee kutte“.

We reached out to Jitendra Awhad for a comment. He said, “In the speech, I had said ‘junglee kutte‘ which someone has compressed to make the audio sound like I am referring to the Sindhi community while that was not my comment”.

On June 1, the politician shared an official letter from the Nationalist Congress Party Thane division requesting the police to take action against those who have shared false claims with the morphed video. (Archive)

To sum up, the video is being shared with the false claim that NCP leader Jitendra Awhad has made comments at his Ulhasnagar speech which are disrespectful towards the Sindhi community. The politician used the phrase ‘junglee kutte’ which was misrepresented by social media users.

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