Several workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were detained on Tuesday after they launched a protest outside the Siddhivinayak temple in Maharashtra. Attacking the Uddhav Thackeray government, the BJP workers through their protest demanded that all temples in Maharashtra be reopened for devotees. The party is holding similar protests across the state, news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, heavy police were deployed to prevent BJP workers from entering the Siddhivinayak temple premises.
In a video posted on social media, the police were seen detaining BJP leader Prasad Lad, along with other party workers, during a protest outside the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai.
#WATCH Maharashtra: BJP leader Prasad Lad detained along with other party workers by police during a protest outside Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai.— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
BJP is organising demonstrations across the state today, demanding re-opening of all temples for devotees. pic.twitter.com/Q0U2hZm6Ie
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has informed Governor BS Koshyari that a decision on reopening places of religious worship will be taken after careful consideration of the COVID-19 situation in the state. Responding to a letter by Koshyari a day earlier, Thackeray on Tuesday wrote to the Governor, saying the state government will consider his request to reopen these places.
In his letter, Koshyari had mentioned that he has received three representations from delegations demanding that places of religious worship be reopened.
Maharashtra Governor wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray, seeking re-opening of places of worship with COVID precautions— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
"I wonder if you're receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing re-opening or you've suddenly turned 'secular' yourselves, the term you hated?" letter states pic.twitter.com/BedTgTSP2d
In response, Thackeray pointed out that it was a coincidence that all the three letters Koshyari mentioned were from BJP office-bearers and supporters.
In the letter to the chief minister, Koshyari had asked, "Have you suddenly turned secular?"
Responding to this question, Thackeray wondered if to Koshyari Hindutva meant merely reopening places of religious worship and if not opening them was to him being secular.
"Isn't secularism a key component of the Constitution, by which you swore while taking oath as the state governor," Thackeray said.
"While considering the sentiments and beliefs of the people, it is also important to take care of their lives and it is wrong to impose and lift lockdown suddenly," he said in the letter.