Women’s rights activist Trupti Desai, who had threatened to block Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy in Maharashtra’s Shirdi town, was detained by police in Pune on Friday morning, an official said.
Desai, president of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, has been batting for women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
PM Modi is on a visit to Shirdi on Friday, where he is set to take part in functions to mark the conclusion of the year-long Saibaba Samadhi centenary programme organised by the Sai temple trust. He will also hand over keys of houses to some beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
A few days back, Desai had sought a meeting with the Prime Minister in Shirdi to discuss the Sabarimala issue and warned that if she was not allowed to meet him, her outfit would block his convoy.
“Today, before she could leave Pune for Shirdi (in neighbouring Ahmednagar district), officials from Sahakarnagar police station took her into preventive custody,” a senior police official said.
“She was taken into police custody early in the morning as she had threatened to disrupt PM’s visit in Shirdi,” the official said adding that she has been currently kept under detention at Sahakar Nagar police station.
Amidst strong sentiments against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, Desai had last week declared that she was still determined to visit it.
“We will announce a date very soon to visit the Sabarimala Temple as the apex court has upheld the fundamental rights of women… There should be no attempt to stop us because we now have equal rights,” Desai said while speaking to a Malayalam TV channel in Mumbai. She has played a major role in opening up to women shrines like Mumbai’s Haji Ali dargah that were hitherto closed to them.
Rahul Eashwar, a member of the Sabarimala tantric family requested Desai to desist from coming to the temple.
“We will be staging a protest in true Gandhian style if there is any attempt to break the traditions and culture of the temple. We request her to pray in other Ayyappa temples in the state and not at the Sabarimala temple,” Eashwar told the media.
(With agency inputs)