Women activists enter Haji Ali Dargah

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Mumbai, Nov 29: A group of women activists, led by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), on Tuesday entered the Haji Ali Dargah here following the Bombay High Court order which permitted the entry of women into the sanctum sanatorum of the shrine.

Till June 2012, women were allowed entry upto the sanctum sanctorum comprising the grave (mazaar) of revered Muslim saint, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, but suddenly it was stopped.

In 2014, the BMMA and others challenged the move of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust in the courts. On August 26, Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice Revathi Mohite-Dhere had ruled in favour of the petitioners and directed the trust to allow equal access to women, which the trust challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on October 24 delivered its verdict on grounds of equal access to men and women, even as the trust expressed readiness to allow women inside till the sanctum sanctorum.

Haji Ali

Activists hailed the Haji Ali Dargah Trust's stand in the Supreme Court that it will allow female worshippers to enter and termed it as a boost to women's rights movement.

[Also read: Activists hail Haji Ali Trust's decision on women entry]

Gender equality campaigner Trupti Desai termed the decision of the Trust as a "victory of women worshippers and Indian Constitution". The Desai-led outfit Bhumata Ranragini Brigade had started a campaign against gender bias at various religious places, including Haji Ali Dargah.

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