Women stage protest march to temple demanding ‘right to pray’

HAPPwomprotHundreds of women marched in protest to the shrine at Shani Shingnapur for the ‘right to pray’ as the temple is traditionally open only to men.

The protesters were stopped by the police in a village some 40 miles from their destination in Maharashtra state. The women were also denied permission to hire a helicopter. They said they will not move until they are allowed to continue their journey to the temple.

Trupti Desai the president of the group of women protesters said they were determined to end the distasteful men-only practice. Some 1000 women participated in the protest march. Temple priests and residents nearby had opposed the march and said they would form a human chain around the temple to prevent the women from entering.

The Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmadnagar is dedicated to Lord Shani, believed to be a personification of the planet Saturn.