Maharashtra: Woman who defied tradition at Shani temple seeks protection

Mumbai, Dec 1: A woman, who broke an age-old tradition prohibiting the fairer sex from offering prayers at the Shani Shingnapur shrine in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, on Tuesday termed her act as deliberate and requested Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to provide her security.

"It was a deliberate act on my part to breach the tradition when I, a woman, climbed the security barricade to the platform where the idol is installed and offered prayers," she told Marathi TV channel 'Mi Marathi'.

Shani Temple

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the woman, in her 30s who is from the medical health field, said she had decided to defy the tradition some time ago. [Activists slam Shani temple tradition banning women's entry]

"Why should such superstitions which prohibit women from offering prayers be in force at our temples," she asked. "The CM should provide me protection," she said.

Activists in the state have slammed the tradition of denying entry to women at the shrine, and the "purification rituals" which the locals performed after the woman's act last Saturday.

The villagers performed 'dudh abhishek' (milk purification) of the idol and observed a bandh to protest the incident. The temple committee also swung into action and suspended seven security personnel.


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