Trupti Desai, the president of the Bhumata Brigade president and activist, was detained by the Pune Police early on Friday morning when she was about to leave for Shirdi. She had written to the Ahmednagar Police on Thursday demanding to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who would be in Shirdi on Friday to attend the valedictory function of the Sai Baba Samadhi Centenary celebrations, to discuss the Sabarimala issue.
Pune: Activist Trupti Desai detained by police, earlier this morning. She wrote a letter to SP Ahmednagar y’day demanding to meet PM Modi to discuss #SabrimalaTemple issue ahead of his Shirdi visit today. She had also threatened to stop his convoy if he doesn't meet. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/PtEcWfW0KS— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
She had also threatened to stop the prime minister’s convoy if he doesn’t agree to meet her.
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When detained, Desai said that it was their Constitutional right to protest and by stopping them from going to Shirdi to meet the prime minister, it is an attempt to suppress their voices.
Police force was already here today morning when we were about to leave for Shirdi. It is wrong. It is our Constitutional right to protest. We are being stopped at home only. It is an attempt to suppress our voice through Modi ji: Activist Trupti Desai on being detained by police pic.twitter.com/n8NJXBhqGR— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
On October 13, Desai had told Malayalam TV channels that she along with other women would visit Sabarimala soon and that the ongoing agitation by devotees was the violation of the Supreme Court verdict. She had appealed to the agitating devotees to welcome those women who come for worship Lord Ayyappa at the hill shrine.
Desai was instrumental in leading an agitation of women in November 2015 for gaining the entry to the core area of famous Lord Shani shrine in Ahmednagar district.
She subsequently led similar protests at the Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur and later at Lord Shiva temple in Trimbakeshwar near Nashik. Last year, Desai tried to enter the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai but beat a retreat after an angry mob prevented her from proceeding further. On May 12, 2016, she made a successful second attempt and entered the dargah under tight security but not in the inner sanctum where women are not allowed.