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Devnarayan Temple in Bhilwara, locked for 47 years over claims by Muslims, to be opened again, announces Rajasthan minister Madan Dilawar

Devnarayan Temple was sealed in 1977 on a court order and its keys were deposited at Maandal Police Station, after Muslims claimed it belonged to Meethu Shah Fakir

On Wednesday (28th February), Rajasthan Education Minister Madan Dilawar announced that the historic Devnarayan Temple in Bhilwara will be opened and worship will be allowed there. The temple has been locked for 47 years since 1977.

Speaking at an event celebrating the 143rd Vijay Singh Pathik Jayanti at Pink City Press Club in Jaipur, Minister Madan Dilawar said, “The lock was placed because some people had problems with the bhajan-kirtan taking place at the Bhagwan Devnarayan Temple. In such a scenario, the government at the time used appeasement tactics and shut the temple, which has remained locked to this day.”

“I had also announced and spoken with Gopal Gurjar’s family members that once the Bharatiya Janata Party government takes power, the temple’s lock will be opened. It is now officially confirmed. A discussion has been had with the Chief Minister [Bhajan Lal Sharma] regarding this, and after a few days, when the auspicious time arrives, the lock on Bhagwan Devnarayan temple in Mandal will be opened,” the minister continued.

Taking to X, Gopal Singh Gurjar Bassi, the state president of Pathik Sena Sangathan said, “Big announcement by Hindu Sher Respected Shri Madan Dilawar ji (Education and Panchayati Raj Minister)…It has been announced to open the lock of Lord Shri Devnarayan Temple in Mandal Bhilwara, which was closed for almost 48 years. The temple will be opened soon after finding a good time. is going to be announced.”

Notably, for years there has been demand to open the lock on Devnarayan Temple which was sealed in 1977 on a court order and its keys were deposited at Maandal Police Station. According to the police, there is a structure in the temple compound which is claimed by the people of another religion.

The temple was locked because Muslims claimed that the place belonged to Meethu Shah Fakir. The matter has been sub-judice since 1977, and the temple has been locked since then. The temple is dedicated to Lord Devnarayan, who is a folk deity in Rajasthan and is considered an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Back in 2022, the local Hindus including the Gurjars took out a 17-kilometre-long march demanding that the temple be opened for devotees. The protest on 14th March 2022, was organised by Deepakpuri of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Hemraj Poswal, priest of Malaseri and Udaylal Bhadana, convenor of Devnarayan Sangharsh Samiti.

Notably, Gopal Singh Gurjar Bassi broke the locks of the Devnarayan temple which was closed for 45 years in Mandal on 11th of March, 2022. Bassi was then booked for allegedly ‘inciting’ religious sentiments and contempt of court.

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