Haji Ali: Trupti Desai pins hope on SC; says next aim is Sabarimala

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug. 28 : With the Haji Ali Dargah trustees set to move the Supreme Court to challenge the Bombay High Court's decision that allowed entry of women in the dargah, Bhoomata Brigade leader Trupti Desai on Sunday said she doesn't think that the apex court will have a contrary view taking into consideration the Constitution and injustice done to the women by banning their entry in 2012 - "we are confident of it".

"The women should have equal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and they should be allowed to visit all temples, mosques, dargahs or any other religious place where men can go.

But, I feel that trustees are not ready to accept this and they are trying to bring Islam in it, but our campaign is not against any religion, it is a fight for the women's right, which the women have won successfully.

And thus, we are confident that the SC will upheld the high court's decision," Desai told reporters after visiting the dargah.

"Last time, when we were campaigning here, the trustees told us that they would abide by the high court's verdict; but now they are saying that they will move to the Supreme Court.

After the high court's order, I think, trustees of all such religious places where the entry of women is banned should now allow their entry," said Desai, who offered a 'chadar' at the dargah to express her gratitude to Haji Ali.

Stating that it is up to the trustees whether they move the SC, Desai said, "I would like to pray to them that the high court has given a very good decision in favour of the women, and they should also welcome that and think over it peacefully.

If they take a decision, we can visit the mazaar in two days." When asked about her next destination, Desai said, "All the four campaigns have been successful, our next aim is Sabarimala temple (an ancient temple of Ayyappan also known as sasta and Dharmasasta) in Kerala's Pathanamthitta District." Urging the trustees of the Sabarimala temple to allow women's entry, she said: "We feel taking in view the Bombay High Court's decision, the trustees of Sabrimala temple should also open the doors for women, and if they fail to do so, and we will start our campaign for the entry in the Sabarimala temple shortly." Talking about their visit to the dargah today, she said, "When we had started our campaign, we have to return from the gate, but today Muslim sisters and police supported us.

We are happy that today nobody stopped us from going there (inner sanctum), for which we are thankful to everyone.

We went inside the dargah up to the permissible area, as has been permitted to the common man and woman.

We have not to violet the directions of the high court." Hailing the decision of the Bombay High Court as "very important and historic", Desia said, "When we visited Haji Ali dargah last time, we had prayed for our uninterrupted entry to the inner sanctum.

As Baba Haji Ali has fulfilled our wish and the court's verdict also came in our favour, today we came here to express our gratitude to the Baba by offering a holy 'chadar' and sought his blessings for uninterrupted entry for women to the inner sanctum." The Bombay High Court 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. The dargah authorities defended the ban, saying 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..

Source: ANI