New Delhi: Empowered by Bombay High Court 's permission that women can enter Maharashtra's Shani Shingnapur Temple, activist Trupti Desai is all set to march towards the historic temple today.
Desai, who has been spearheading the protest demanding entry into the temple, also threatened to file an FIR against those who try to stop them from entering the temple.
Just before leaving for the temple, Desai said, "I don't think anyone will stop us today, the court has already given its order. This is a victory for us."
Several members of the Bhumata Mahila Brigade were stopped by local police from entering the temple on Friday. The women were asked to show court order before entering the temple premises.
In a landmark verdict, the Bombay High Court on Friday had 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 PIL challenged the tradition of prohibiting the entry of women inside the sanctum-sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, claiming that barring women is arbitrary, illegal and in violation to the fundamental rights of a citizen that the Constitution bestows.
On January 26, at least 400 women volunteers, mainly hailing from Pune, led by Trupti Desai, president of the Bhumata Brigade, made an unsuccessful attempt to storm the `chauthara` of the temple, but prohibited by but police stopped the marchers at Supa village, 70 kms from the temple.
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 suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform purification rituals.