A group of villagers were evoked to clean and purify a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur district, after a Dalit BJP woman MLA offered prayers to the deity at a local temple.

As per reports, the temple was cleaned with Gangajal and the idol was sent to Allahabad for purification in the holy water of Ganga River. The woman MLA had entered the premises on July 12. The incident was highlighted when a video footage of the cleansing and purification ceremony went viral on social media.

Manisha Anuragi, the BJP legislator from the reserved seat Rath, visited Muskura Khurd (a village to the south of Lucknow) to attend a school function. During her trip, she decided to visit a local ashram, Dushrma Rishi (a saint from Mahabharata era) and offer prayers.

Village panchayat takes a call

The local villagers were not happy with a woman entering the temple premises and thus approached the village panchayat to take further decision. The panchayat decided to clean the temple premises and also sent the statues of the deities to Allahabad for purification in the holy waters.

The locals believe that the temple is from the Mahabharata era. The residents claim that if a woman enters the temple without the saint’s wishes, then the region will be cursed by Lord Shiva with four decades of famine

Talking about the incident, the temple priest told ANI, “Till today, no women had entered the temple. Women are not allowed here. When Manisha Anuragi entered the premises, I was not there. Otherwise, I would not have allowed her to enter.”

A local resident remarked, “Since there is a ban on women entering the temple, they can stand outside and pray.”
The locals also claim that after Anuragi’s visit, they did not get any rainfall despite dark clouds hovering over the village.

Responding to the controversy, Anuragi said, “It’s an insult to women if such things have happened. These are deeds of half-witted people.”

The Hamirpur controversy is come to light at a time when a constitution bench of the Apex Court of India, is examining the Sabarimala Temple’s ban on women in the “menstrual age”. The Supreme Court in the case has observed that religious practices cannot violate constitutional rights.

Picture for representation purpose only

Megha Thadani is an Intern with Shethepeople.tv

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