Shani Shingnapur temple: Trust allows women to offer prayers at inner sanctum

Anita_ShetyeShaniShingnapurMUMBAI: In a historic turnaround, the Shani Shingnapur temple trust on Friday announced that women will be allowed to enter the inner sanctum and offer prayers.The temple trustees today held a meeting on the contentious issue and took the decision.
The practice of barring women from entering the inner sanctum had been a 400-year-old tradition.Reacting to the reports, activist Trupti Desai said it’s a great victory for the women.
Earlier today, on the first day of Gudi Padwa, male devotees stormed into the inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple, despite trust’s order that nobody would be allowed to offer prayers there.
The men were earlier allowed to offer prayers inside the inner sanctum. However, after the controversy over women’s entry unfolded, the temple trust had banned the entry of all.Desai is all set to visit the famous temple later today.Desai has been spearheading the protest demanding women’s entry into the temple.
In a landmark verdict, the Bombay High Court on April 01 declared that no law prevents women from entering places of worship. The court, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Vidya Bal and Nilima Varta, said there should be no gender discrimination as far as entering a place of worship is concerned.
The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a woman offered prayers in `breach` of the age-old practice of prohibiting entry of women. Following the incident, the temple committee had suspended seven security men and the villagers performed purification rituals.

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