A temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur and its presiding deity were ‘purified’ after a woman BJP MLA ‘broke tradition’ by entering it.

The temple located in Muskara Khurd of Vikaskhand village in Bundelkhand’s Hamirpur was visited by Manisha Anuragi, the BJP MLA from Rath, on 12 July.

Anuragi, who was visiting the village to participate in a school function, offered prayers to Dhoom Rishi – the deity venerated by the villagers. Women are forbidden from entering the temple.

According to reports, the villagers were offended with Anuragi for having broken the tradition. While villagers ‘cleansed’ the temple, they reportedly pooled in money to send the idol of Dhoom Rishi to Allahabad for purification in Sangam.

Reacting to media reports of the purification ceremony of the temple, an enraged Anuragi said that it was an insult to all women.

“It’s an insult to women if such things have happened. These are deeds of half-witted people,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.

The priest of the temple claimed that he would have prevented the MLA from entering the temple had he been around when the MLA arrived for worship.

“Till today no women had entered the temple. When Manisha Anuragi entered the temple, I was not there otherwise I would not have allowed her to enter,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Dhoom Rishi, whose samadhi is on the banks of Narmada in Indore, is believed to be a venerated guru from the Mahabharata era.

Villagers believe that the Pandavas stayed in his ashram for a brief period while they were passing this region. Since then the entry of women is barred.