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Meeting on Shani temple row fails to resolve issue

Published : Feb 7, 2016, 12:32 am IST
Updated : Feb 7, 2016, 12:32 am IST

The impasse over entry for women into the sanctum sanctorium of Shani Shingnapur Devasthan continues, what with a meeting chaired by the collector of Ahmednagar on Saturday remaining inconclusive even

The impasse over entry for women into the sanctum sanctorium of Shani Shingnapur Devasthan continues, what with a meeting chaired by the collector of Ahmednagar on Saturday remaining inconclusive even as the Ranragani Bhumata Brigade (RBB) termed it positive.

Among those present at the meeting were collector Anil Kawade, SP Saurav Tripathi, Trupti Desai, Pushpak Kewadkar, Shani Shingnapur Devasthan Trust President Anita Shete, Nana Bankar, Yogesh Bankar and CEO Dharandale. Both traditionalists and liberals put forth their arguments. The trustees maintained that the temple has a 400-year-old tradition of not allowing women on the chauthara (platform), while Trupti Desai of RBB claimed that they have proof of women climbing the chauthara eight years ago. She said that they are looking forward to action on the part of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “We will meet him in Mumbai on Tuesday or Wednesday and demand entry,” she stated.

RBB activists have been agitating for the right to darshan of Lord Shani from the chauthara, which is forbidden to women with the trust stating that even men are not allowed to climb the chauthara. Meanwhile, Mr Kawade told The Asian Age that this was a preliminary discussion brought about by the administration.

“All points were cordially discussed between the parties, and we will send a report to the government for further action,” he said.

Mr Yogesh, one of the trustees, said, “The meeting was positive and we will follow whatever direction theCM gives.”

On Republic Day RBB activists began converging at the shrine to get darshan from the chauthara. However, police stopped their convoy about 65 kilometres from the temple town and sent them away. Later, they met the chief minister in Pune, who assured that their demands would be considered.