From mediator to initiator: CM Fadnavis to meet activists on Shani Shingnapur temple issue

After stating on Tuesday that women have the right to pray and expressing his wish for a dialogue between authorities of Shani Shingnapur temple and activists to find a way out over the ban on entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum of the shrine, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be meeting two representatives of the agitating group, reported Times Now.

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

On Tuesday, he had urged temple authorities to hold a dialogue with Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, a women's group that is campaigning for entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum of the shrine in the Ahmednagar district, but on Wednesday, he moved from merely mediating the dialogue to initiating it.

The precedent for this meeting had been set by Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde, who said that the government will facilitate talks between the temple authorities and women activists to arrive at an amicable solution.

"If there is a dispute between activists and temple authorities over allowing women access to the (Shani Shingnapur) temple, the state government will act as facilitator for talks between them so that the issue can be resolved amicably," Shinde told PTI.

On Tuesday, which happened also be Republic Day, a group of women from Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, was stopped from entering the Shani Shingnapur temple. The women were trying to enter the temple and end the practice of not allowing women to enter the inner sanctum of the shrine.

The activists were also detained by the police but were released later on, reported PTI.

The 350 women activists were stopped by police in a village 70 km from the shrine as they tried to break a 400-year-old tradition banning women from entering its sacred sanctum.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 27, 2016 14:22 PM

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