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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Jains welcome Supreme Court move but want Maharashtra to reopen all temples

The state government has said while it will implement the apex court’s order, there were no plans of allowing further relaxation to any religious place in Maharashtra.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: August 22, 2020 9:56:48 am
The apex court had on September 11 given its go ahead to NLSIU, Bengaluru to hold its separate exam, which was to be held on September 12. File

THE SUPREME Court’s decision to allow three Jain temples of Shri Parshwatilak Shwetambar Murtipujak Tapagacch Jain Trust to remain open for Paryushan festivities for the remaining two days was welcomed by the Jain community.

Leaders from the community, however, also sought a further relaxation to allow all Jain temples to remain open. The state government has said while it will implement the apex court’s order, there were no plans of allowing further relaxation to any religious place in Maharashtra.

“Partly, we have got success but our main prayer was for the benefit of the entire Jain community of Mumbai and MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region). Unfortunately, other religious trusts did not approach the court. Hence, they have not got relief. If the state can allow commercial activities, then why not worship at religious places?” said Yugbhushansuri Pandit Maharaj Saheb of Shri Parshwatilak Shwetamber Jain Sangh, Tilak Nagar, which will be opened starting Saturday.

“We appeal to the state government to allow Jain temples of both Shwetambar and Digambar to remain open on a continuous basis with the condition of following the guidelines laid by the central government. The community has proposed self restrictions on the number of devotees and is strictly following distancing norms,” said Lalit Gandhi, national president of All India Jain Minority Federation.

The state government said it will implement the SC order but no other temples will be allowed to reopen.

“The Supreme Court order will be followed in letter and spirit,” said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Secretary. When asked about other temples, Kumar said, “At the moment, they will not be opened up.”

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