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Talking to temple trustees for positive outcome: Activist

Shani Shinganpur

Pune : A day after making an unsuccessful attempt to enter the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, the Bhumata Mahila Brigade today said they are in dialogue with the temple trustees over the issue for a positive outcome.

After the Bombay High Court observed on Wednesday that if men are allowed in a place of worship then women should also be permitted, the members of Bhumata Mahila Brigade, which parted ways with Trupti Desai’s Bhumata Ranragini Brigade earlier this year, tried to enter into the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar yesterday.

However, their attempt was foiled by the police. “Unlike Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, we do not believe in creating ruckus on roads and disrupt the peace while fighting against the tradition,” said Priyanka Jagtap, a key activist of the Bhumata Mahila Brigade.

“Yesterday, we had gone to the temple and sought entry inside the core of the shrine. Though they (police) blocked us, we had a healthy discussion with the temple trustees,” she said.

She said they are talking to the temple trustees and people in the villages (near the temple) to create awareness among them through dialogue.

“We do not want to create a law and order situation, and with effective dialogue with the temple trustees of Shinganapur, we are trying to bring a positive approach among them about the cause,” Jagtap said.

“We are also talking to the trust of Trimbakeshwar temple (in Nashik) and exhorting them to change their views, and we are sure, sooner than later, we will succeed in our cause,” she further said.

She also informed they plan to file a writ petition soon in high court in connection with the Trimbakeshwar temple row, where women are restricted from entering the inner sanctum of the Lord Shiva shrine.

Meanwhile, Trupti Desai, the president of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, alleged that the members of Bhumata Mahila Brigade were trying to usurp her issue.

“They are trying to usurp my issue and maligning my image and soon for this act, I will slap a legal notice on them,” Trupti added.

Notably, in a boost to gender equality campaign, the Bombay High Court had recently observed that if men are allowed in a place of worship then women should also be permitted as no law prevents them from doing so.

The high court, while underlining the need for giving equal access to women, also stated that any temple or person imposing restrictions can face a six-month jail term under a Maharashtra law.

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