Activists seek CM's intervention in Shani temple row

Activists seek CM's intervention in Shani temple row

A day after protests over non-entry of women to the sanctum sanctorum of Shani temple in Ahmednagar, agitators met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and urged him to reverse the restriction.

However, solution to the issue looks unlikely as the tradition at Shani Shingnapur, where a five-and-a-half feet swayambu black rock signifying Shani is installed on an open platform, dates back five centuries.

The Shri Shanaishwar Devasthan Shani Shingnapur-Newasa that runs the temple as well as people of the town are opposed to breaking the tradition. The campaign gained momentum in November when a woman was caught on CCTV while crossing the security barricade into the chauthara or platform where the idol was installed. A day later, villagers performed a ‘dudh-abhishekan’ at the sanctum to purify the deity.

A 40-year-old housewife Anita Shetye, who became the temple trust’s Chairperson  on January 11, vowed to maintain the tradition.

“The Chief Minister said he supports us,” Trupti Desai of the  Bhumata Rangranai Brigade that spearheads the agitation said.

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