Members of the Sai Janmabhoomi Pathri Sansthan said they will file a petition in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court with evidence to prove that Saibaba was born in Pathri.
Residents of Pathri in Parbhani district on Thursday decided to approach court to get legal sanctity to their claim that 19th century saint Saibaba was born in their village. Members of the Sai Janmabhoomi Pathri Sansthan said they will file a petition in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court with evidence to prove that Saibaba was born in Pathri.
A controversy has erupted over the purported birthplace of the revered saint, 102 years after he took ‘samadhi’ in Shirdi. Some residents claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had retracted his statement on Pathri being Saibaba’s birthplace under pressure from the Shirdi temple trust.
MLC and president of the action committee, Babajani Durrani, said Pathri residents will move court on the issue. “Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Jadhav had met Thackeray to seek his appointment for meeting Pathri residents but it was denied and we were told not to take the controversy any further,” Durrani told PTI. “We have decided to go for legal procedure to resolve this issue and won’t be meeting Thackeray.
A team of advocates will visit Pathri and we will file a petition in the court next week,” he said. “We won’t mind if the government grant for Pathri doesn’t come but we will never give up our claim that Pathri is the birthplace of Saibaba,” he said.
The Sena on Tuesday said Thackeray should not be blamed for the “uncalled for” controversy over the birthplace of Saibaba as nobody can tell whether the 19th century saint was actually born in Shirdi. Noting that the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan’s assets are worth over Rs 2,600 crore out of which social works are done, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ had said Shirdi became rich because of the saint, and none can snatch away the richness of the town where he died.
It also said that Thackeray did not refer to Pathri as Saibaba’s birthplace “on his own”, but on the basis of versions of some historians. During a state Cabinet meeting on January 9, Thackeray said Pathri, considered the birthplace of Saibaba, would be developed as a site of religious tourism, and announced a grant of Rs 100 crore for the place.
The led to a row following which locals from Shirdi called for a bandh in the temple town on Sunday. The bandh was, however, called off on Sunday midnight and Thackeray met some residents of Shirdi on Monday.