Reopening of places of worship: BJP stages protests against Maharashtra government
Several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Saturday staged an agitation outside temples in Pune and other parts of western Maharashtra, including Shirdi and Kolhapur, demanding reopening of places of worship across the state, which have remained shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Pune, the BJP leaders and party workers held a ghanta-naad (ringing of bells) agitation at Sarasbaug temple.
“The government has allowed liquor shops to function. However, temples and religious places are still closed. This is not acceptable,” said Jagdish Mulik, city party president. Mulik was accompanied by mayor Murlidhar Mohol and legislator Madhuri Misal.
“The state government should allow people to go to places of worship. If the government does not take any decision now, citizens will break the rule on their own and start visiting temples,” said Mulik, adding that the state government is confused and is unaware of how to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criticising the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, mayor Mohol said, “The state government must allow reopening of places of worship soon, as almost everything is now limping back to normalcy.”
Over the past few weeks, there has been growing a chorus in the state for reopening of places worship. Besides the BJP, AIMIM Member of Parliament from Aurangabad Imtiaz Jaleel and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar have also threatened to launch an agitation.
Jaleel has threatened to offer prayers inside a mosque on September 2 if the government does not decide on the reopening by September 1. Sensing pressure, Shiv Sena MP in Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut said that the state government is likely to take a call on the issue in the first week of September.
Pune MP Girish Bapat led the agitations by workers in front of Omkareshwar Temple near Balgandharva.
Ruling parties criticised BJP’s agitations, saying that the party is busy fanning flames of religious politics, when the city and state is facing bed shortage and the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Parvati constituency president Nitin Kadam, said, “We had appealed to the BJP to allow immersion tanks near water bodies, but the party did not allow citizens to perform Ganesh immersion in the city. Now, the same party is demanding reopening of temples. This shows their dual stand on the same issue.”
Aam Aadmi Party’s Pune leader Mukunt Kirdat said, “There are many critical issues which the citizens are already facing like job loss, incomplete medical facility, bed shortage and enormous electricity bills. However, instead of addressing such development issues, the BJP is diverting the attention of citizens.”
Mumbai The state education department will operate 43 'guidance centres' across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to assist class 11 aspirants from state board schools with the online admissions to first year junior college (FJYC) from June 27. The centres, officials said, will operate on a walk-in basis in select SSC schools from 10am to 2pm every day, with three officials present at every centre to address queries from parents and students.
A 30-year-old woman died after Ritika Singh, the deceased was allegedly thrown off the fourth floor balcony of her house by her husband and four other people, police here said on Saturday. Police have arrested three people, including the woman's husband, Akash Gautam, and booked them in sections 302 (murder) and 34 (act done by several persons with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, they said.
Mumbai Admissions to minority quota across colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai had to be completed by Saturday, June 25 this year. However, taking into consideration that non-state board students are still awaiting results in order to be able to apply, city colleges are finding ways to ensure that no student with merit goes without a seat in a college or course of his/her choice.
Lucknow Chief minister Yogi Adityanath said here on Saturday that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh always had a scientific approach and outlook because its RSS founder, Dr KB Hedgewar was a medical practitioner and had a science background. “Krishna's teaching to Arjun in Bhagwad Gita which is now 5000- years-old, still has meaning in modern times,” Yogi said. University professors were always on the look-out for promotions but hardly made effort for scientific publications.
Mumbai: Accused of circulating counterfeit Indian currency notes in the city, two men, residents of Malda district in West Bengal were acquitted of the charges by a sessions court on Thursday. Suleman Razzak Shaikh, 53, and Sanaul Julum Insarali Shaikh, 29, were arrested with 60 counterfeit notes of ₹2000 denomination, on November 8, 2017. The anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai police crime branch had received a specific tip-off.