‘Wear a Saree,’ Cop Tells Trupti Desai Before Her Temple Visit
Activist Trupti Desai (in blue, center) offering prayer at the Shani Shingnapur temple after the gates were opened for women, in Ahmednagar on Friday, 8 April 2016. (Photo: PTI)
Activist Trupti Desai (in blue, center) offering prayer at the Shani Shingnapur temple after the gates were opened for women, in Ahmednagar on Friday, 8 April 2016. (Photo: PTI)

‘Wear a Saree,’ Cop Tells Trupti Desai Before Her Temple Visit

In a “telephonic advice” from a Kolhapur police officer, on Tuesday, Bhoomata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai was allegedly asked to wear a saree while visiting the Mahalaxmi temple.

Also read: After Shani Victory, Trupti Desai to Battle at Mahalakshmi Temple

The advice was provided by Anil Deshmukh, senior police inspector from Rajwada police station in Kolhapur, where the temple is situated. Desai will be visiting the temple on Wednesday.

Desai also played a taped conversation she purportedly had with the officer while speaking to the media.

Why Was Desai Advised to Wear a Saree?

She alleged that the officer asked her to visit the temple clad in a saree, and not in salwar kameez, to honour the existing tradition while entering the inner sanctum.

I have told them I was not going to wear short skirt or jeans. Salwar kameez is a comfortable Indian attire. I will not wear saree.
Trupti Desai, Bhoomata Ranragini Brigade Leader

Deshmukh, during the phone call, said if Desai turns up wearing a saree, it would not hurt sentiments of people and help police maintain law and order.

He was heard saying even men who enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple are required to wear ‘sovle’ (a special dhoti worn for performing religious rituals).

Deshmukh, when asked, admitted to have called up Desai.

The request, Deshmukh said, was made as the priests at the temple did not allow some women who went there on Monday not clad in a saree.

Desai, who spearheaded a successful campaign seeking entry for women in Shani Shingnapur shrine, is scheduled to visit the temple on Wednesday evening along with her co-activists.

Breaking an age-old tradition, the trustees recently took a decision allowing women an unrestricted entry into the inner sanctum of the historical Mahalaxmi temple as well.

(With PTI inputs)

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