A group of 50 to 60 women and social activists from different parts of the city finally entered the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali shrine on Friday.
Noorjahan Safia Niaz, co-convener of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), along with other group members, who had come in a bus, visited the shrine of the 14th-century saint, Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.
In 2011, the trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah had decided to deny women access to the grave. Noorjahan was stopped when she tried going into the sanctum of the shrine in June 2012.
The BMMA filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court (HC) in August 2014 against the “blatant discrimination on the ground of gender alone” and asked the state to ensure that access to the inner sanctum was restored.
In August 2016, the HC allowed women to enter into the sanctum of the shrine and said that the shrine trust has no power to alter or modify the mode or manner of religious practices of any individual or any group.
However, on October 3, the Trust moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay HC verdict.
On October 24, 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.