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Will celebrate final judgment by visiting Shani temple’s core shrine area: Trupti Desai after HC order

The group, Bhumata Brigade, had taken up the cause after a woman entered the Shani Shingnapur temple shrine area in November and reportedly prompted the temple trustees to perform a “purification” of the area.

tripti 759 The Bhumata Brigade: Trupti Desai (second from right) and Durga Shukre, Priyanka Jagtap and Pushpak Kevadkar when they started the campaign in November. While Desai heads the Bhumata Ranragani Brigade, the trio has formed the Bhumata Mahila Brigade. Express

AFTER THE Bombay High Court ruled on Wednesday that women could not be barred from entering the Shani Shingnapur temple, saying “even women can go where men can”, the Bhumata Brigade, the activist organisation which started the movement of demanding women’s entry in the temple’s core shrine area, is elated and keeping its fingers crossed for the final judgment. The matter will now be heard by the Bombay High Court on April 1 and the state government has been asked to make a statement then.

“Once the final judgment is passed by the High Court, the group members and other women will visit Shani Shingnapur temple and celebrate the order by performing puja at the core shrine area. Today’s HC judgment is the victory of women power and our movement. We were going by the Constitution and simply demanding our rights as citizens. In the past few months, we have been threatened by so many people and inundated with false allegations, like we have been doing all this for publicity,” said Trupti Desai, chief of Bhumata Brigade.

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The group, Bhumata Brigade, had taken up the cause after a woman entered the Shani Shingnapur temple shrine area in November and reportedly prompted the temple trustees to perform a “purification” of the area. Although the trustees had denied the charge, they were attracting widespread criticism from women activists for being gender-biased.

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Balasaheb Venunath Bankar, sarpanch of Shani Shingnapur, said, “Our temple have some rules which we have been following since the past several years. We have nothing against women, we are just following rules. We will be sharing the papers of the temple’s rules and regulations with the state government which will present these papers in the next two days. We will decide our next plan of action after the Bombay High Court’s final judgment.”

In the last week of February, the Bhumata Brigade members were detained by the police in Ahmednagar on their way to Shani Shingnapur for a meeting with the temple trustees. Desai alleged that the members had been detained for at least two hours after which they were released. The group later reached Shani Shingnapur, but were again detained by the police as they started marching towards the temple. However, the group members were released after some time.

First published on: 31-03-2016 at 06:34:32 am
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