Maharashtra government to take control of Ahmednagar’s Shani Shingnapur temple
The chief minister’s office said the government had received complaints alleging irregularities and mismanagement by previous board members of the temple trust.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 12:39 IST
The state government on Wednesday decided to enact a new law for an “effective” and “transparent” management of the Shri Shaneshwar Devasthan at Shingnapur in Ahmednagar district. The bill will be introduced in the upcoming monsoon session to formalise the decision.
The temple was in the news for denying entry to women devotees in a certain part of its premises close to the idol.
According to the chief minister’s office, the government had received complaints alleging irregularities and mismanagement by previous board members of the temple’s trust.
“There were some incidents that created a law-and-order situation. Therefore, it has been decided to reconstitute the existing public trust and bring Shaneshwar Devasthan under the control of state government under the new Act,” a statement said.
Currently, the Mahalaxmi temple of Kolhapur, the Shirdi temple in Nashik and Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak temple are governed by the state government.
The state government added that there is a need to provide better amenities and facilities keeping in mind the growing number visitors to the Shaneshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shani, who personifies the planet Saturn in Hinduism.
Once the state government passes legislation, it would pave the way for government employees to be appointed to important management posts in the temple trust. Once the legislation is in place, the temple trust will have to report to the state law and judiciary department.
The temple, popularly known as the Shani Shingnapur temple, had been in news two years ago after a group of activists launched a campaign to allow women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, thus breaking the tradition of allowing entry only to men. The temple trustees later decided to facilitate unrestricted entry of women into the temple, following a directive of the Bombay High Court.