Drama unfolds as women kept out of Shani temple
PUNE: A day after the state government assured the Bombay high court that it would ensure implementation of the Maharashtra Hindu Places of Public Worship Act, 1956, which prevents discrimination between men and women, a group of women activists were prevented by hostile villagers and police from entering the inner sanctorum of the famous Shani temple at Shingnapur in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
The g roup l ed by activist Trupti Desai of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade entered the Shani Shingnapur temple compound but hundreds of villagers – both men and women – who believe in the centuries-old tradition of barring women from entering the inner sanctorum formed a human wall, forcing the activists to retreat.
The temple in Maharashtra has become the focus of a protest by women activists who say they’re fighting a centuries-old tradition of barring women from worshipping at some Hindu temples. The women had made a similar attempt in January, but were stopped by police some distance away after protests were staged by temple priests and local villagers, mostly men.
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Bhumata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai (centre) outside the Shani Shingnapur temple on Saturday.