Trupti Desai offers prayers at Haji Ali Dargah

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Mumbai, Aug 28: Two days after Bombay High Court lifted the ban on women's entry in Haji Ali Dargah, Bhumata Brigade activist Trupti Desai today visited the shrine and offered a 'chadar', while announcing that her next crusade for women's right to pray would be Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

"Last time, when we came here at Haji Ali Dargah, we prayed for the verdict of the high court on our side. Since our prayer was heard and fulfilled, we came here to seek the blessings of Haji Ali Baba and offered him a 'chadar'," Desai told reporters outside the shrine, located on an islet off the coast of Worli in Mumbai.

Trupti Desai offers prayers at Haji Ali

One of the most recognisable landmarks of the city, the Indo-Islamic architectural structure contains the tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

Thanking the people of the country, including Muslims, for their support, Desai requested the Dargah's trust to not move the Supreme Court against the HC's judgement, but exuded confidence that the apex court would rule in women's favour if such a step was taken.

"I request the trustees with folded hands to follow the verdict of the high court and not go to the Supreme Court to challenge the order as this was in favour of the all the women in the country.

"If the trustees prefer to knock on the Supreme Court's door, then nothing is going to change because the apex court too would uphold the constitutional right of the women and I am fully confident about it," she said.

"If the trustees give a serious thought over the merits of the high court's verdict, then it is possible that the doors of Baba can be opened in next two days only for the women devotees," said the womens' right activist.

The activist also said that she wanted to meet the trustees today, but no one was available since it was a Sunday.

In a landmark judgement, the Bombay High Court had on Friday lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah here, saying it contravenes fundamental rights and that the trust has no right to prohibit women's entry into a public place of worship.

The court, however, stayed its order for six weeks following a plea by Haji Ali Dargah Trust, which wants to challenge it in the Supreme Court.

PTI

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