Amid the ongoing Simhasta Kumbh in Ujjain, Trikal Bhawanta, founder of the all-women Pari Akhara, staged a protest Tuesday, seeking facilities on a par with the 13 male akharas recognised by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. Bhawanta on Tuesday sat in a samadhi posture in an eight-feet ditch, while volunteers started pouring soil on her.
Police soon reached spot and removed the volunteers, but Bhawanta refused to come out from the ditch. She insisted that she would do so only if Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met her and assured her facilities on a par with the 13 male akharas.
In-charge of Mahakal Police Station Anil Chouhan told The Indian Express that Bhawanta eventually agreed to end her protest and added that police had not lodged any complaint against her or the volunteers. He claimed that the ditch was dug by the volunteers so that Bhawanta could meditate underground.
Bhawanta said she had given the administration 48 hours to provide her pandal with facilities on a par with those enjoyed by the male akharas and added that she would launch the protest again if her demand was not fulfilled.
The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has not granted recognition to Pari Akhara because the male sadhus are against formation of the all-women akhara, claiming that it has no “religious sanctity”. A leading male seer recently dismissed Pari Akhara as “fraud’’. The Pari Akhara did not take part in the first shahi snan on April 22.