Indefinite ‘bandh’ called off in Shirdi

Shirdi: The indefinite ‘bandh’ in the Shirdi called in protest over chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s reported statement on the birthplace of Sai Baba’s birthplace has been called off for Monday.

A protest was staged in the town after the chief minister terming Pathri in Parbhani as Sai Baba’s birthplace.

“We have called off the indefinite bandh and Shirdi will be open as normal after 12 tonight. There is a meeting scheduled with Chief Minister tomorrow at 2 pm and we will request him to take back his statement about Saibaba’s birthplace. We are not seeking an apology from the CM but all we want is that he should withdraw his statement,” said Kailash Tope, Sai Baba Sansthan Trust.

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“If there is no positive outcome of tomorrow’s meeting locals of Shirdi will decide the future course of action,” he said.

The ‘bandh’ was called by locals upset with Thackeray’s recent announcement to allocate funds to develop Pathri town in Parbhani district for religious tourism, calling it the birthplace of the Baba, a 19th-century spiritual figure.

Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the indefinite shutdown.

Shirdi temple is one of the most popular religious destinations in the country. Over a lakh devotees visit it every year.

While the rest of the town remained shut, the temple remained open for darshan today.

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