Shani temple row: Maharashtra CM meets women activists, assures support

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Pune, Jan. 27 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday met women activists who were detained by the police yesterday after they staged a protest for not being allowed to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar.

“Our movement has been successful as the chief minister has shown his support and has assured us that he will be looking into the matter,” activist Trupti Desai told reporters after meeting Fadnavis.

“We have requested the chief minister that the Shani Shingnapur temple trust should be taken under the wings of the government, so that both men and women are allowed inside the temple,” she added.

The women, members and supporters of the Bhumata Brigade, arrived from Pune yesterday in six buses and wanted to enter the temple’s sanctum sanctorum where the idol of Lord Shani is placed on an open-air platform.

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However, the group led by women activist Trupti Desai was stopped from marching towards the temple by the police near Supa.

They were also detained by the police for some time, but later released.

After being stopped by the police, Trupti said it was a black day for women as they were being stopped from exercising their rights.

The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a woman had offered prayers at the popular shrine in ‘breach’ of the age-old practice of prohibiting 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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