Shani Shingnapur row: CPI (M) slams Maharashtra Govt. for delaying women’s entry

New Delhi, Feb. 6 (ANI): The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday questioned the Maharashtra Government delay in granting permission to women to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar.

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat claimed that the Maharashtra Government has no intention of following the democratic path.

“After the Chief Minister’s statement supporting the right of women to go into the temple, it was assumed that the government would assure entry of the women into the temple. But clearly, there are either second thoughts or it was just sheer hypocrisy, and the government has no intension of following the democratic path. So, women who want to go to mandir must have free access to the mandir,” Karat told ANI.

In a bid to end the deadlock over allowing women to enter Shani Shingnapur temple, the Ahmednagar District Administration has called for a meeting between protestors and the temple management today.

The Ahmednagar District Collectorate has reportedly written a letter to Bhumata Brigade, inviting them to discuss the centuries-old ban on female devotees entering the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum.

Women members and supporters of the Bhumata Brigade arrived from Pune on January 29 in six buses with an aim to enter the temple’s sanctorum where the idol of Lord Shani is placed on an open-air platform.

However, a group led by activist Trupti Desai was stopped from marching towards the temple by police near Supa. They were also detained by police for some time, but released later.

The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a woman had offered prayers at the popular shrine in “breach” of age-old practice that prohibits entry of women, after which the temple committee had to suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform purification rituals.

The temple attracts millions of tourists and devotees from across the country and abroad. (ANI)

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