Bhumata Brigade activist Trupti Desai said on Sunday that she hoped no one would object to her offering prayers at the Haji Ali Dargah. “Last time, when we had gone to the Haji Ali Dargah, we prayed for the verdict of the high court to be on our side. We have won there. We have got the blessings of Haji Ali Baba like we had got the blessings of God Shani. We will offer the holy ‘chadar’ there and take blessings,” Desai told ANI.
She said they would request the trustees not to go to the Supreme Court in connection with the matter. “It is 21st century, you should allow women to go to the inner sanctum. After six weeks, we will again go there. No one should object, as we won’t hamper the law and order situation. Just like we offered prayers to Shani Dev, we will peacefully go to the Haji Ali Dargah and take blessings,” she added. The Bombay High Court had on Friday lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah.
The Haji Ali Dargah Trust imposed the ban in 2012 citing religious traditions. Authorities then defended the ban, saying that the entry of women in close proximity to the tomb of a male saint would be seen as a grievous sin in Islam. The trust had claimed that separate arrangements have been made for women to walk up to a certain point from where they can offer prayers. The ban is contrary to Articles 14, 15, 19 and 25 of the Constitution of India. Earlier this year, women managed to break the gender bias and gained full access to the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.