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Row over Sai Baba's birthplace leads to the closure of Shirdi temple
Maharashtra

Row over Sai Baba's birthplace leads to the closure of Shirdi temple

Agency News

The administrative body of Sai Baba's Samadhi calls for the indefinite closure of the Shirdi temple after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reportedly said Pathri in Parbhani is Sai Baba's birthplace.

Activists of the world famous Shirdi threatened a shutdown on Sunday after a controversy erupted over the purported birthplace of the revered saint, Shri Saibaba, 102 years after he took 'samadhi' here. It is learnt that about two dozen villages around Shirdi are expected to join the bandh, which may be extended till the government considers their demands, according to one of the organisers. However, dismissing rumours, a top temple management official said the Shirdi Saibaba Temple will remain open and all facilities will continue as usual. "A meeting of villagers will be convened Saturday evening to discuss the issue. Devotees will not face any difficulty if they come to Shirdi," Mr Wakchaure added.

CM Uddhav Thackeray has allocated Rs 100-crore grant for development of Pathri, believed by some as Saibaba's birthplace.

"A meeting of villagers will be convened Saturday evening to discuss the issue," said B Wakchaure of Saibaba Sansthan Trust. "We have announced to close Shirdi against rumours from January 19," said B Wakchaure of Saibaba Sansthan Trust.

On the other hand, senior NCP leader Durrani Abdullah Khan has dismissed the shutdown call saying "there is enough historical evidence" to prove that Saibaba birthplace was Pathri.

"Pathri is Saibaba's 'janmabhoomi' while Shirdi is his 'karmabhoomi.' Both the places have equal significance for all his devotees," Khan said.