Activist Trupti Desai, who has been protesting over the demand for entry of women into the Shani Shingnapur temple, was on Monday detained in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra while she was on her way to the temple.
Desai is the chief of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, the women's outfit spearheading the campaign against a centuries-old ban on female devotees entering the sacred platform at Shani Shingnapur temple.
She had also received an anonymous threat letter on 12 February warning her of dire consequences like those faced by Narendra Dabholkar. Dabholkar had been found murdered on 20 August 2013. He had steadfastly vouched for the passing of the Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Ordinance in the Maharashtra Assembly.
The row over the temple began on 27 January when 350 women activists were stopped by police in a village 70 km from the Shani Shingnapur shrine as they tried to break the 400-year-old controversial tradition.
Eventually, the protest had intensified as the women refused to leave the area and said they will not leave the area until they are allowed inside the temple.
Desai had also urged the "young" chief minister to step in and take urgent measures to curb attempts and social mechanisms to suppress womens' voice and their empowerment.
A day after that protest, Desai had met Devendra Fadnavis in Pune and presented a memorandum of demands seeking his support to end gender bias and unrestricted entry to women at the temple and all other sacred places in the state.
With agency inputs