'Girls' can't enter Delhi's Jama Masjid alone, 'They use it as place to meet boys': Mosque's rule sparks row
Notices were found outside Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid banning the entry of girls and women, whether alone or in groups. This sparked a controversy on Thursday due to which Delhi LG VK Saxena had to intervene. After he spoke to the mosque’s Shahi Imam Bukhari, he agreed to revoke the order, with the request that visitors respect and maintain the sanctity of the Mosque.
According to a PTI report, the notices, which have no date, came up a few days ago outside the three main entry gates. “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.
According to an ANI report, the controversial notice was removed from gate number 3 of the mosque on Thursday evening.
Earlier, the National Commission for Women (NCW) took cognizance of the matter calling the diktat “gender-biased and in violation of fundamental rights of the women worshippers.”
Taking to Twitter, Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal said, “The decision to stop the entry of women in Jama Masjid is absolutely wrong. As much as a man has the right to worship, so also a woman. I am issuing notice to the Imam of Jama Masjid. No one has the right to ban the entry of women like this”.
Jama Masjid public relations officer Sabiullah Khan said that the entry of women is not banned but girls cannot come alone, adding that this has been done to prevent the mosque premises from becoming a “meeting point” for the girls who “give time to boys, shoot TikTok videos and dance”.
The reason for our restriction is that the mosque is for prayers and should be used for that only, he added.
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,” news agency PTI quoted Bukhari as saying.
“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.