Mumbai, May 12: Bhumata Brigade President Trupti Desai and a few activists prayed at the well known Haji Ali Dargah shrine on Thursday amid heavy police security. After prayers, Trupti served a 15-days ultimatum to the Dargah trustees to permit women right upto the sanctum sanctorum, failing which she vowed to launch an agitation.
However, a Haji Ali Dargah trustee, Suhail Khandwani, spurned her demands. “We follow the laws of the land. She came like any other normal devotee today and nobody has stopped her. As for her demands, we shall not be cowed down by such threats,” Khandwani told IANS. Shortly after daybreak, accompanied by a posse of police, Desai and her supporters walked through the half-a-kilometre rrow bridge on the Arabian Sea to reach the Dargah with scores of other devotees. She followed the prevalent customs and respectfully prayed outside — barely four feet away from 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 mediapersons later. She threatened to launch protests if the trustees did not allow women to pray till the spot where men were allowed. (ians)