Demanding equal rights for women at a place of worship, activist Trupti Desai, along with her supporters, will stage a protest at the Haji Ali Junction before swarming into the dargah around 4 pm this evening. Haji Ali dargah does not allow women to enter into the sanctum sanctorum. The inner chamber of dargah is restricted only for women but men can go there and pray. To oppose this discrimination, Trupti Desai and over 50 activists held a press conference in Mumbai and demanded equal rights to enter and worship at dargah.

The Bumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai said, “We along with few Muslim women will hold a peaceful protest outside the dargah (Haji Ali). We will not enter the inner sanctum of the temple but decided to go where men and women are allowed to enter. It is believed that your wishes come true at Haji Ali dargah. We will also wish for equal treatment for women at the dargah.”

The issue of gender bias hogged national limelight in January when hundreds of women activists attempted to storm into the Shani Shingnapur temple. After months of protests, and the Bombay High Court observing that entering a temple was a fundamental right of every person, the Shingnapur temple trust finally decided to allow women’s entry on to the sacred platform (chauthara)–on which rock idol of Lord Shani is placed on April 8. The decision opened doors for women to contest similar bans at other temples.

Shiv Sena leader Arafat Shaikh had said that Trupti Desai would be hit with ‘slippers’ if she tried to enter the Haji Ali Dargah.

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