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Desai visits Haji Ali, urge trustees not to move Supreme Court against High Court ruling

Monday, Aug 29, 2016,15:09 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | Activist Trupti Desai visited Haji Ali Dargah and appealed to the trustees of the shrine not to move the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling lifting ban on women’s entry in its core area.

She also vowed to fight for women’s right to pray at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

Desai, who successfully led high-profile campaigns to secure entry of women in the inner sanctum of two prominent temples of Maharashtra, visited the iconic dargah, but kept away from the shrine’s core area.

The visit by chief of Bhumata Brigade, a social group, came two days after the Bombay HC, in a landmark ruling, lifted ban on women’s entry in the sanctum sanctorum of the Dargah, an Indo-Islamic architectural structure on an islet housing the tomb of saint Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

The HC, however, stayed its order for six weeks to allow the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to move the SC against the ruling.

“Last time, when we came at Haji Ali Dargah, we prayed for a court verdict on our favour. Since our prayer has been answered, we came here to seek the blessings of Haji Ali Baba and offered him a ‘chadar’,” an elated Desai told reporters outside the shrine.

Thanking the people, including Muslims, for their support, Desai requested the Dargah’s trust not to challenge the HC judgment, but exuded confidence the apex court would rule in women’s favour even if such a step was taken.

“I request the trustees with folded hands to follow the High Court verdict and not go to the Supreme Court as this was in favour of the all the women in the country.”

“If the trustees prefer to knock on the Supreme Court’s doors, then nothing is going to change because the apex court, too, would uphold the constitutional right of” the activist maintained.

In April, Desai had unsuccessfully tried to enter the shrine’s core area, where entry of women was banned by the trust in 2012 citing religious traditions. “Today I went only up to the permissible limit of the Dargah, as I did not want to flout the Court’s ruling in any case,” Desai said.

The Bhumata Brigade founder insisted she had no intention to hurt religious sentiments of any community and was only trying to ensure women’s entry into all shrines.

Asked about her next campaign, Desai said, “I think in the backdrop of the High Court’s verdict, the trustees of the Sabarimala temple ought to open their doors for women. And if they don’t, I would launch a similar agitation.”

Earlier this year, the Brigade had managed to win their fight for women’s right to pray at the famous Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district and Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik district.