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Women have a right to pray, CM Devendra Fadnavis tells temple authorities

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, maintaining that women have a right to pray, favoured a dialogue between authorities of the Shani Shingnapur temple and activists to find a way out over the ban on entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum.

He urged the temple authorities to hold a dialogue with the women’s group that is campaigning for entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum of the shrine in Ahmednagar district.

“Indian culture and Hindu religion gives women have the right to pray. A change in yesterday’s traditions is our culture. Discrimination in praying is not in our culture. The temple authorities should resolve the issue through a dialogue,” tweeted Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio.

Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde said the government will facilitate talks between the temple authorities and women activists to arrive at an amicable solution.

”If there is a dispute between activists and temple authorities over allowing women access to the (Shani Shingnapur) temple, the state government will act as facilitator for talks between them so that the issue can be resolved amicably,” Shinde told PTI.

”The activists (members of Bhumata Brigade) were detained as they had violated the law. CrPC Section 144 had been imposed by police, which they did not adhere to,” he said, referring to the Criminal Procedure Code section that prohibits assembly of more than four people.

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