New Delhi: Hanuman was an Arya, Union Minister Satyapal Singh claimed on Friday. His statement came a day after the chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Nand Kumar Sai said that the Hindu God was a tribal. The row over the community to which Hanuman belonged to began after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a rally in poll-bound Rajasthan asserted that the Hindu god was a Dalit. Also Read - Mission Shakti: UP Govt Sets up 'Pink Patrol' to Maximise Women Safety, Will be Operational 24*7

Bhagwan Ram aur Hanuman ji ke yug mein, iss desh mein koi jaati-vyavastha nahi thi, koi dalit, vanchit, soshit nahi tha. Valmiki Ramayan aur Ramcharitmanas ko aap agar padhenge to aapko malum chalega ki uss samay koi jaati-vyavasthan nahi thi. Hanuman ji arya theyy. Iss baat ko maine spasht kiya hai, uss samay arya jaati thi aur Hanuman ji usi arya jaati ke mahapurush theyy,” the Union Minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Also Read - Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Slams UP Govt Over Rising Incidents of Crime Against Women in State

Earlier on Friday, the ST panel chief said, “Log ye samajhte hain ki Ram ke sena mein Bhaloo the, banar the, giddh the…Hamara janjaati samaaj alag alag hai, kanwar samaaj mein ‘hanuman’ gotra alag se hai. Ram ke saath ladai me ye log gaye the (People think that ‘vanar’, ‘giddh’, ‘bhaalu’ were part of Lord Ram’s army. Our tribal community is different. There is ‘hanuman gotra’ in Kanwar community. People who belong to this gotra were part of the army).”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, UP CM Adityanath had said, “Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to unite all Indian communities, from north to south and east to west.” He was also served a legal notice by a right-wing group in Rajasthan, asking him to apologise for his statement within three days.

“In a recent election rally, Yogi had called Hanuman a local deity and deprived which is a huge disrespect to the Lord who is worshipped by crores of devotees. Local deity is a saint, king or a person who is famous in an area and respected by the locals while Lord Hanuman is worshipped across the globe, and not in a particular region. People can be rid of their suffering by just chanting the name of Lord Hanuman, and all those who come in his protection feel strong. So calling him deprived is a huge disrespect,” the Sarva Brahmin Mahasabha national president said in the notice.

“I am saddened that UP chief minister called Lord Hanuman deprived. His statement has hurt the religious sentiments of several devotees… It is a sheer attempt to take political mileage in the election,” it further read.