Hindu leader says rapes will rise if women go into Shani temple

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HARIDWAR: Incidents of rape will increase if women are allowed into the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, said the Shankaracharya of Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati on Monday.

“Women entered Shani temple’s inner sanctum. The women are worshipping Shani in the temple. By doing so, Shani’s eyes would fall on women and this would result in increase of rape incidents,” Swaroopanand told ANI.

The temple’s trust had last week broken 400 years of tradition – under pressure from the Bombay high court order and equal rights activists – and announced that both men and women will be allowed to enter the inner sanctum.

Over the weekend, the Bhumata Brigade cadres led by Trupti Desai offered prayers at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple following the decision.

A day earlier, speaking to TOI, the 94-year-old said women should not have entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani temple as “it will bring bad luck to them”.

“Shani is paap grah (planet of sins). Worshipping him will lead to rise in crime against women,” he added.

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