Kolhapur: Bhoomata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai will on Wednesday visit the Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur for a darshan of the deity.
However, a fresh controversy erupted on Tuesday when police allegedly told Desai to wear a saree while visiting the temple.
Desai told reporters that she received a "telephonic advice" from an officer at Rajwada police station in Kolhapur who asked her to visit the temple clad in a saree, and not in salwar kameez, to honour the existing tradition while entering the inner sanctum.
"I have told them I was not going to wear short skirt or jeans. Salwar kameez is a comfortable Indian attire. I will not wear saree," she said.
Today, Desai said that there is no such dress code and the Punjabi dress shouldn't be a problem. “We haven't sought permission from police. It doesn't matter if we're given permission or not,” she added.
Desai, who spearheaded a successful campaign seeking entry for women in Shani Shingnapur shrine, also played a taped conversation she purportedly had with the officer.
The officer, identified as Anil Deshmukh, senior police inspector, purportedly urges Desai to honour the tradition, saying even men who enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple are required to wear 'sovle' (a special dhoti worn for performing religious rituals).
The officer said if Desai turns up wearing a saree, it would not hurt sentiments of people and help police maintain law and order.
Desai, along with her co-activists, will visit the temple this evening.
Breaking an age-old tradition, the trustees recently took a decision allowing women an unrestricted entry into the inner sanctum of the historical temple.
When contacted, Deshmukh admitted to calling up Desai.
Deshmukh said he requested her to wear saree as the priests at the temple did not allow some women who went there on Monday not clad in a saree.
(With PTI inputs)