MUMBAI -- With Bhumata Brigade chief Trupti Desai set to enter the iconic Haji Ali Dargah, Shiv Sena leader Haji Arafat on Saturday said he would not allow her to touch the mazar-e-sharif.
"Islam does not allow women to touch the mazar-e-sharif in a dargah. We strongly condemn what Trupti Desai is saying. We won't allow her to enter the inner sanctum of the Hazi Ali Dargah. I will be the voice of my religion and will not allow her to touch the mazar-e-sharif, Haji Arafat told ANI.
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Arafat, who joined the Shiv Sena after leaving the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2014, said that the attempt by Desai to enter the Haji Ali Dargah is a conspiracy meant to disturb Mumbai's peaceful environment.
"All Muslim women have been opposing this. This is a conspiracy to disturb the peaceful environment inside Mumbai. A conspiracy is being made to instigate the Muslims by playing caste and religion-based politics. The police and law and order should prevent her from doing that," he added.
On 20 April, 'Haji Ali For All' Forum was launched by Desai along with several activists, NGOs and social groups to fight for entry of women to the shrine.
A "peaceful movement" will be launched at Haji Ali on 28 April.
The Maharashtra Government had in February supported the entry of women to the Haji Ali Dargah.
The government had told the Bombay High Court that the entry of women cannot be prohibited.
The court had asked the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP Government to give its opinion on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the decision of the Haji Ali Trust to ban the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah.
A trustee of the Dargah, Rizwan Merchant, had earlier backed the decision not to allow women to enter inside the inner sanctum, saying their entry is prohibited for their own safety.
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