Shani Shingnapur: Despite HC order, Trupti, others detained
Activist Trupti Desai and 26 others were detained to avoid a clash with the locals. Members of the Bhumata Rangragini Brigade, led by Desai, were blocked by locals, temple trust members and protesting National Congress Party members.
Desai was later put under preventive detention along with 25 other activists by Ahmednagar Police and they were taken away from the shrine and released near Shirur in neighbouring Pune district this evening. She was taken in her own car, police said.
Police said Desai and others were detained near the shrine in view of angry public sentiments among the locals against her attempted entry to the sacred platform of the temple which is dedicated to Lord Shani. There was also a possibility of a stampede and law and order situation arising out of the temple entry march, they added.
Upset at her attempt being foiled, Desai said she would file an FIR against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis if he fails to honour the Bombay High Court order facilitating entry of females to places of worship. Vowing to intensify the campaign for gender justice after the tense faceoff, Desai said a police complaint would be also filed against those who prevented the activists from entering the core area of the shrine. She dubbed the police action as a “murder of democracy”.
The high court on Friday held that entry to temples was a fundamental right of women and it was the state’s fundamental duty to protect it. It had also ordered civil and police authorities to implement the provisions of the Maharashtra Hindu Places of Public Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act, 1956 and ensure compliance.
On reaching the temple, Desai and her followers tried to scale the sacred platform but members of the local resistance group and temple officials pushed them away.