Shani Temple row: Kiran Bedi puts onus on Maha Police

New Delhi, Apr. 2 (ANI): Putting the onus on the Maharashtra Police following the detention of Trupti Desai, who was leading a march towards the Shani Shinganapur temple in Ahmednagar district today, former IPS officer and BJP leader Kiran Bedi asked as to why the people obstructing the Rangaragini Bhumata Brigade (RBB) leader were not detained.

“The version of the Maharashtra Police comes under scrutiny now. The people, who were stopping and obstructing the activists, despite a court order were not stopped. The police really needs to answer this,” Bedi told ANI here.

Asserting to know as to why were the women detained despite the court orders to enter the temple and exercise their rights, Bedi added that the police personnel, who were stationed outside the temple at the time, would need to come up with a concrete statement to back their actions.

Further training her guns on the state police, she added that even Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would be interested in knowing the version of the cops.

“The Chief Minister has clearly made his views clear in public about women entering the Shani Temple and he seems to have no contradictions. I am sure that even he would like to know that why did the police detain those women as it was clearly a contempt of court,” Bedi added.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Police has stated that the move was taken to prevent a possible stampede outside the Shani Shingnapur temple and ensure that the law and order situation remains under control.

“Tension was brewing here, which might have led to stampede and that is why we took her out from the temple. We had given a notice to Trupti Desai and Bhanu Dash Murkute under Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and had verbally told them that they shouldn’t create a law and order situation in Shani Shinghnapur temple,” Additional Superintendent of Police Pankaj Deshmukh told ANI.

Earlier today, the activists clashed with local villagers, who were staunchly opposing the entry of women inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Nearly 100 volunteers of Bhumata Brigade marched towards Shani Shinganapur temple, a day after the Bombay High Court stated that prohibiting women from entering places of worship is against the fundamental rights bestowed upon them by the Constitution.

Desi expressed her disappointment after being detained by the police and said prohibiting the women activists from entering the sanctum sanctorum was violation of the High Court’s order.

“We have a copy of the High Court’s order. We should have been allowed to enter the sanctum,” she said.

The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a lady offered prayers in “breach” of the age-old practice of prohibiting entry of women. (ANI)

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