Trimbakeshwar Temple ‘forcible entry’ case: Decision must be left to locals, says Raj Thackeray

Nashik:¬†Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday said people of Nashik must take a decision on the Trimbakeshwar Temple issue that began after some people of a different religion tried to “forcibly” enter on May 13 to offer incense as part of a tradition associated with a nearby dargah.

A First Information Report was registered on the complaint of temple authorities against four persons under Indian Penal Code sections 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult a religion), while the Maharashtra government set up a special investigation team to probe the matter.

“The issue at Trimbakeshwar is of the local residents and they must take a decision. Outsiders must not intervene. If a tradition is on for years, then it is not right to stop it. Is our religion so weak that it will lose its purity and divinity if someone from another religion enters a temple,” Thackeray said.

“There are many temples and mosques in the country where there is mutual understanding among people (of different faiths). (In Mumbai), constables from Mahim police station offer ‘chaddar’ at Mahim Dargah. On the other hand, in some of our temples only people of a particular caste are allowed,” he added.
Asserting he too had visited mosques and dargahs, Thackeray said issues like loudspeakers on mosques, unauthorised dargahs coming up along the coast and in historical forts must be tackled rather than creating such problems that cause riots.
“Attacking things which are wrong is right. However, doing anything intentionally (to create discord) is not right. Riots do not take place where Marathi Muslims live. There are good relations, mutual understanding among Hindus and Muslims and people should not disturb it,” the MNS chief said.
As per the Nashik police, a group of people arrived at the entrance of Trimbakeshwar Temple on the night of May 13 seeking permission to perform a ritual of offering `dhoop’ (incense) to the deity from the entrance steps as per a decades-old tradition.
The temple guards, however, stopped them, leading to a row, the police have said.
Meanwhile, in an interview to a news channel, a devotee at the nearby Gulab Shah Wali Dargah said in view of the controversy, the tradition of offering incense will be stopped from next year.