Tension prevailed at Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur, 260 kms from here, when a group of women activists attempted to enter the sanctum sanctorum on Monday. The ruckus continued for an hour but no untoward incident was reported.
Last week, the high court had asked the state government to ensure protection of safety of women devotees in all the places of worship. A group of about 100 women, under the banner of Awanti, stormed Mahalaxmi temple, also known as Ambamata, carrying placards and raising slogans, condemning discrimination.
However, they were stopped by men and women priests, who were at the forefront,stopping activists from entering the sanctum sanctorum. The police rushed to the spot, but did not take any action.
The activists, led by Anuradha Bhosale, had submitted a letter to the temple trustees on Sunday night, saying that they wanted to perform puja to welcome the Bombay high court’s ruling.
Trustees reportedly asked them to present a copy of the judgment, saying that they were not aware of any such decision.
Women activists had made a similar attempt four years ago, after which, trustees had amended some rules.
Meanwhile, trustees of Shani Shinganapur temple are mulling stopping the age-old tradition of allowing men to perform abhishek of ‘gangajal’ on the day of Gudi Padwa. The tradition is likely to be stopped from this year to avoid any legal complications.