Jama masjid Delhi: Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam has finally agreed to withdraw the order restricting entry of women in the mosque, after Delhi L-G VK Saxena spoke to him and requested him to take back the decree, Raj Niwas sources said today. They added that Imam Bukhari agreed to revoke the order, on the condition that visitors respect and maintain the sanctity of the mosque.
The administration of Delhi’s famed Jama Masjid had put up notices outside the main gates banning the entry of ‘girls’, whether alone or in groups. As controversy escalated, the mosque’s Shahi Imam on Thursday (November 24) said the order is not applicable to those coming to offer prayers.
The issue led to an outrage in some quarters as women rights activists termed the mosque’s decision regressive and unacceptable. The notices, which have no date, came up a few days ago outside the three main entry gates, sources in the administration said. However, it has come to attention only now.
“Jama Masjid mein ladki ya ladkiyon ka akele daakhla mana hai (The entry of a girl, or girls is not permitted in Jama Masjid),” reads the notice by the administration of the 17th century Mughal era monument that attracts thousands of devout as well as tourists.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal on Thursday issued Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi after taking cognizance of the recent restriction on entry of women coming alone or in a group in the famed mosque. The administration of the mosque has put up notices outside the main gates banning the entry of ‘girls’, whether alone or in groups. .
However, as the issue led to outrage in some quarters, the Shahi Imam stepped into say the order is not applicable to those coming to offer prayers. According to Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam, the decision was taken after some “incidents” were reported on the premises of the heritage structure. “Jama Masjid is a place of worship and people are welcome for that. But girls coming alone and waiting for their dates. This is not what this place is meant for. The restriction is on that,” Bukhari said.
“Any such place, be it a mosque, temple or gurudwara is a place of worship (ibadat ki jagah hai) and there is no restriction on anyone coming for that purpose. Just today, a group of 20-25 girls visited and they were allowed to enter,” Bukhari added. An unconvinced DCW, however, termed it as a ‘violation of women’s rights’ and issued notice.
(With agencies inputs)
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