Trupti De­sai stopped again, this time at Ka­palesh­wara tem­ple

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Vaishali Bala­ji­wale vaishali. bala­ji­wale@ dnain­dia. net

Devo­tees at the Ka­palesh­wara tem­ple in Nashik have strongly op­posed ac­tivist Trupti De­sai’s force­ful en­try into the sanc­tum sanc­to­rum of the age- old tem­ple, stat­ing that even men are not al­lowed and the en­try is not about gen­der. Only the des­ig­nated priests are al­lowed in and even men take dar­shan from out­side the sanc­tum, they said.

De­sai’s re­peated at­tempts at en­ter­ing the sanc­tum since May 19 have re­sulted in her draw­ing the ire of the devo­tees to the ex­tent that some un­known per­sons hurled stones at her ve­hi­cle on Thurs­day, in­jur­ing one of her group mem­bers.

On May 19, De­sai had at­tempted to en­ter the sanc­tum of the Ka­palesh­war tem­ple but the priests and devo­tees had ob­jected to her break­ing the tra­di­tion there. As the sit­u­a­tion be­came in­creas­ingly tense, the po­lice in­ter­vened. Af­ter an as­sur­ance from the po­lice that she will be al­lowed to take dar­shan in the sanc­tum on May 26, De­sai left the place.

De­sai again came to Nashik on the evening of May 25 and, sud­denly, around 11.30pm, she and her fol­low­ers at­tempted to en­ter the tem­ple at Ramkund. But she was ob­structed by the devo­tees. The po­lice in­ter­vened once again and is­sued her with a no­tice ask­ing her not to dis­turb peace in the town.

But on May 26, De­sai once again re­turned to the tem­ple at 12 noon amidst strong po­lice ar­range­ment. How­ever, she faced stronger op­po­si­tion from women and de­votes at the tem­ple this time, with even slo­gans be­ing raised against De­sai. While the ac­tivist claimed that she and her group mem­bers were hurt in the din, the po­lice said that they had suc­cess­fully es­corted her to safety.

The cops then took De­sai to Sin­nar Phata, which was on her way back to Pune, but from there, De­sai came to Nashik again. She stayed at the gov­ern­ment rest house in the evening. Then, late at night, on the pre­text of hav­ing din­ner, she left the rest house and sud­denly re­turned to the tem­ple premises. But she was stopped by the devo­tees once again, and while she was re­turn­ing back to the rest house, her ve­hi­cle was pelted with stones near the Sun­dernarayan mandir. The win­dow pane of the ve­hi­cle was shat­tered and one of her sup­port­ers was in­jured.

Af­ter first aid was ad­min­is­tered to the in­jured per­son, Vinod Paru Nade, De­sai sub­mit­ted her ve­hi­cle to the Sin­nar po­lice and de­manded that she be given a po­lice ve­hi­cle to be dropped off to Pune. How­ever, the ru­ral po­lice said she could be es­corted only up till the dis­trict lim­its and dropped off there. De­sai, in­stead of go­ing to Pune, then re­turned to Nashik by mid­night. Nade was taken to a civil hos­pi­tal, where his wounds were stitched up.

Two cases in dif­fer­ent po­lice sta­tions were filed in Nashik on Fri­day, one by the in­jured Nade and the other by De­sai.

Ear­lier, speak­ing to the me­dia, De­sai had in­sisted that she would take dar­shan at the sanc­tum and would leave the town only then. She in­sisted that the com­mis­sioner of po­lice should en­sure that she was en­able to ex­er­cise her right to pray at the in­ner sanc­tum.

Lo­cals block Trupti De­sai’s path as she makes her way to Ka­palesh­wara tem­ple in Nashik

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