Pune: Clash Between Priest Groups at Bhimashankar Shrine Leads to Police Case; 36 Charged

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Pune: 17th October 2023: A violent altercation erupted between two factions of priests at the sacred Bhimashankar temple on Monday afternoon, leading to the registration of a case against 36 individuals for illegal gathering and fighting. The case was filed late at night at Khed police station. The confrontation occurred amidst a crowd of devotees and, notably, in the presence of on-site police officers.

Tensions have been mounting between the priests led by Shankar Gangaram Kaudre of Kharoshi, Khed and Goraksh Yashwant Kaudre of Bhimashankar, Khed. The two groups have had disagreements not just over the Bhimashankar temple, but also concerning the Shani temple in the vicinity. The conflict came to a head when members of the Shankar Kaudre group entered the temple during darshan hours and demanded the platform to conduct their worship.

According to Goraksh Yashwant Kaudre, his group was assaulted with stones and kicks outside their camp. In contrast, Shankar Gangaram Kaudre claims that members of Goraksh’s group attacked them with sticks, chairs, and rods near the Shani temple behind the Bhimashankar temple. Disturbingly, the violent dispute unfolded even as police were present within the temple premises.

Both parties have filed complaints against each other, leading to a case involving 36 people. Shankar Gangaram Kaudre has filed a complaint against 21 individuals, whereas Goraksh Yashwant Kaudre has lodged a case against 15 individuals from the opposing group.

While the police have begun investigations, questions are being raised about their effectiveness as the clash happened right under their nose.


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