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Women activists set to march to Shani Shinganapur post HC order


Pune (Maharashtra): Bhumata brigade activists led by Trupti Desai are all set to march to Shani Shinganapur Temple in Ahmednagar, where entry of women to the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine is prohibited, after the Bombay High Court, in its ruling yesterday, stated that women cannot be stopped from entering places of worship.

Desai termed Bombay HC’s order as ‘victory’ for them and said that no one can now stop them from entering the shrine.

“If anyone stops us today we will file an FIR against them….I dont think anyone will stop us today, Court has already given its order. This is a victory for us,” she told ANI.

The court, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Vidya Bal and Nilima Varta, said there should be no gender discrimination as far as entering a place of worship is concerned.

The PIL challenged the tradition prohibiting the entry of women inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, claiming that barring women is arbitrary, illegal and in violation to the fundamental rights of a citizen that the Constitution bestows.

On January 26, at least 400 women volunteers, mainly hailing from Pune, led by Trupti Desai, president of the Bhumata Brigade, made an unsuccessful attempt to storm the ‘chauthara’ of the temple, but prohibited by but police stopped the marchers at Supa village, 70 kms from the temple.

The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a woman offered prayers in ‘breach’ of the age-old practice of prohibiting entry of women. Following the incident, the temple committee had suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform purification rituals. (ANI)

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