On Sunday, the revered tradition of the annual pilgrimage of Sant Dyaneshwar Maharaj’s palanquin from Alandi to Pandharpur commenced. However, today, on Sunday, the departure of Sant Dnyaneshwar Mauli’s palanquin from Alandi was marred by an unfortunate incident of police resorting to allegedly mild lathi charge against the devotees.
The journey of Sant Dyaneshwar Maharaj’s palanquin began on Sunday morning from Alandi, a small town located near Pune. Devotees from various parts of the state and beyond had gathered in large numbers to witness and participate in this sacred procession. The palanquin, adorned with colorful flowers and accompanied by devotees singing hymns and prayers, made its way through the streets of Alandi, creating an atmosphere of devotion and spirituality.
However, today, as the palanquin of Sant Dnyaneshwar Mauli started its journey from Alandi, a town renowned for its association with the revered saint, an unfortunate incident occurred. The police, responsible for managing the crowd and ensuring the smooth flow of the procession, resorted to allegedly a mild lathi charge to control the overwhelming number of devotees. As per the tradition, only 75 members are allowed to enter the premises but instead more than 75 people wanted to enter.
It is reported that a group of 300-400 students of Varkari Prashikshan Sanstha wanted to enter within the garbhagruha (core area) of the temple which were stopped by police authorities. This created a tense situation that required immediate action from the police. In an attempt to restore law and order and prevent any untoward incidents, the police allegedly used their lathis (batons) in a restrained manner to disperse the crowd and create space for the palanquin to pass through safely. Videos related to the same were shared on social media platforms.
DCP of Pimpri Chinchwad Police Vivek Patil refused any alleged Lathi Charge on pilgrims. He said, “ We have not made any lathi charge on pilgrims. We only asked them not to enter in temple as they need to take permission from temple administration to enter in main part of the temple as there is not that much of space available in side the temple.’’
While the allegedly lathi charge resulted in a brief disruption and some devotees experiencing minor injuries, the situation was quickly brought under control. The procession resumed its course after the devotees were calmed down, and the palanquin of Sant Dnyaneshwar Mauli continued its journey towards Pandharpur, the final destination of the pilgrimage.
The annual palanquin processions of Sant Tukaram Maharaj and Sant Dnyaneshwar Mauli hold immense significance in Maharashtra, drawing millions of devotees who seek spiritual solace and divine blessings. These processions symbolize the devotion and reverence towards the great saints and serve as a unifying force for people from various walks of life.