Women start assembling outside Shani Shingnapur Temple

Scores of women across the state started assembling outside the Shani Shingnapur Temple here as a symbolic gesture to break the gender barrier at the shrine's sanctorum.

The Ranragini Bhumata Brigade has threatened to worship Lord Shani at the sacred platform. To prevent a law and order issue, the police and temple authorities have put up three levels of barricades, deployed women constables and village volunteers to guard the temple.

"Shani Shingnapur Trustee board's hooliganism won't work now; the women would perform the rituals in the temple," said Women activist Trupti Desai.

Meanwhile, other prominent women have also come out in support of the move 

"If women can give birth to a man, then why should we discriminate and not allow them to worship a particular god. Everybody should have equal right. I want to ask why the women are denied entry into the temple. God hasn't made these rituals, it has been made by few people to debar women's entry from temples," said Barkha Shukla, Former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson.

Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader also came out in support of the movement. "Today is Republic Day and the father of the Indian Constitution Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar had said that the Constitution gives equal rights to all of us, but those powers get curtailed by society in the name of rituals and traditions. The society and the people need to understand that men and women are on the same platform in this country," she said.

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