PUNE: Bhoomata Brigade leader Trupti Desai and 25 others were today taken into preventive custody to stop them from entering the inner sanctum of the famous Shani temple in Ahmednagar's Shignapur village.
They were, however, later released near Shirur in Pune district this evening, police said.
Desai was detained in the afternoon near the Shani temple in adjoining Ahmednagar district, about 120km from here, along with 25 other activists when they tried to enter the core area of the popular shrine, where females are not allowed.
She was to taken Ahmednagar Civil hospital for a medical check-up but she reportedly refused to undergo it.
After a verbal exchange with authorities she was subsequently taken near Shirur, a taluka town bordering Ahmednagar district, in her own car and left there, police said.
They said Desai and others were detained in view of angry public sentiments (among locals) against her attempted entry to the sacred platform of the temple dedicated to Lord Shani.
There was also a possibility of a stampede and law and order situation arising out of the temple entry march, they added.
The march to the temple at Shinganapur by Desai and others came in the wake of the Bombay High Court yesterday asking the State government to uphold fundamental right of women to enter any place of worship.
The right-to-pray archivist and her supporters faced stiff opposition and protests by villagers who said they would defend the centuries-old tradition banning women from entering the inner sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Desai alleged her detention has tarnished Maharashtra's image as a progressive state and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as Home Minister for failing to honour the HC order and asking police to ensure safe passage for the women activists.