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Women activists vow to enter Trimbakeshwar temple today to protest entry ban

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Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, an organisation for women, under the leadership of activist Trupti Desai on Monday announced that they will march to the Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik and attempt to enter its sanctum sanctorum.

The group has demanded that women must be allowed inside the temple on Shivratri.

The march to the famous temple, which has been planned on the occasion of Shivratri today, has been organised by Bhumata Brigade of Pune. The group had previously protested against the ban on entry of women inside Shani Shinganapur temple.

Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai said that despite the refusal of the temple committee to allow entry of women inside the Trimbakeshwar temple, the group is determined to go ahead with the march.

The Bhumata brigade members, who were arrested last month for their similar attempt at Shani Shingnapur temple, are ready for another face off with the district and the temple.

“We will be able to enter the temple today. What police did last time is a violation of Constitution and they will not do that again,” Desai said.

“There is no case in any court either, so they cannot use that excuse. So I request the chief minister that they should deploy more police and allow us the entry. I would like to say to Hindutva groups that I am Hindu too. This is not a fight of religion or of god, this is a fight for women’s rights,” she added.

Desai had also met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in January over entry of women in Shani Shinganapur and Trimbakeshwar temples.

The ancient Trimbakeshwar temple, located 30 km from Nashik, is a major Lord Shiva shrine of the country, which has one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’, drawing devotees from far and wide.

“In our culture there has been equal status given to both men and women and this was same for worshipping gods also. The women can equally worship god as men do. We feel the society must work in accordance and provide equal opportunity to all,” said Vijaya Rahatkar, chairperson MCW.

Meanwhile, the temple trust has maintained that the ban of entry of women is based on tradition, claiming that no objection has ever been raised on the same.

The ancient Trimbakeshwar temple, located 30 kilometres from Nashik, is a major Lord Shiva shrine of the country, which has one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’.

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