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Sai Baba festival begins amid rows

Donation box of the temple has been sealed

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Sai Baba festival begins amid rows
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The foundation day celebrations of  Sai Baba Temple at Vartak Nagar began on Friday amid allegations and counter-allegations.

But the controversies over the alleged misappropriation of funds have not  deterred devotees from turning in large numbers at the three-day festival from Thursday to Saturday.

The charity commissioner has sealed the donation box and appointed an administrator following a complaint by Vikrant Chavhan about the misappropriation of donations to the temple. He had also alleged the temple itself was constructed illegally. It has also been ordered to verify the receipt books of the temple.

President of Sainath Seva Samiti and NCP corporator Balibhai Naibagkar said the annual programme would be held as per schedule.

When asked about the allegations of the temple being illegal, Naibagkar said the temple was constructed on MHADA land in 1985. He said MHADA and Konkan Board had allotted the land to the managing committee a year ago. Naibagkar said a proposal had been passed and the land would be transferred to the committee after completing the formalities with the Thane Municipal Corporation.

He said that special arrangements had been made to avoid inconvenience to devotees. Various programmes such as bhajan, abhishek, kirtan and pravachan will be organised.

A procession will be taken out in Vartak Nagar on the last day after Shri Ganesh yagya and other rituals. The procession taken out on the third day has always been a centre of attraction for devotees, who flock from all over the state. 

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