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Pandharpur temple priest suspended for assaulting devotee

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

A priest at the over 900-year-old Vitthal-Rukmini temple at Pandharpur in Solapur district of Maharashtra, was today suspended for allegedly assaulting a devotee.

"The priest Ashok Bhadage, stands suspended. We cannot tolerate such violent behaviour within the temple premises," Solapur district Collector Rajendra Bhosale told PTI.

Bhadage had allegedly slapped a devotee Dattatray Suse earlier this week, when the latter was about to garland Lord Vitthal's idol in the temple.

The temple, a favourite of the Warkari sect in Maharashtra, attracts over two crore devotees a year. During the Hindu month of Ashaadh, lakhs of 'Warkaris' and other pilgrims from across the state walk to the temple.

The Supreme in its verdict on January 15, 2014, stripped Brahmin families (Badve and Utpat) of their right to appoint priests and keep the donations. The families had claimed ancestral rights over the temple.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 20 2017. 18:42 IST