“Happy that Trupti Desai came to the Dargah today, but she shouldn’t have come with the police,” he added. Earlier, this morning, Desai was allowed to pray at the famous Haji Ali Dargah shrine amidst tight police security.


Accompanied by police, Desai and her supporters followed the prevalent customs and prayed outside the inner sanctum, as permitted by the dargah trust and departed a few minutes later.

"I have prayed that women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah, as was the case till 2011... Next time, we shall make attempts to pray there," Desai told media persons later.

However, she threatened to launch a protest if the dargah did not allow, within 15 days, women to offer prayers from the spot where men are allowed.
Also read: Trupti Desai: Woman who challenged history and tradition

"This is a fight to gender equality at religious places. Today, we witnessed the point where men are allowed and women are not permitted. The dargah trustees must allow women further till the spot where men are permitted within 15 days, failing which we shall protest," Desai said.

Today's visit to the dargah was a follow-up of the aborted agitation carried out by Desai and other NGOs on April 28 under the banner of 'Haji Ali For All'.

In view of a potentially sensitive situation and entry of political parties at the scene, the police intervened and did not permit Desai to enter the dargah.

The shrine trustees reiterated that permitting women up to the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari would be "anti-Islamic" and claimed immunity as it was a 'minority trust'. The iconic Haji Ali Dargah, visited by people of all faiths, is situated on a small rocky islet in the Arabian Sea, around 500 metres from the Mumbai shoreline at Worli.

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