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Jama Masjid row over, Imam agrees to revoke ban on women

Raj Niwas said Saxena spoke to Imam Bukhari and requested him to rescind the order.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Statesman News Service

The administration of Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid has agreed to revoke the controversial order banning the entry of women into the mosque.

A source at Raj Niwas said Imam Bukhari agreed to revoke the order after Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena spoke to him.

Earlier in the day, the Jama Masjid administration placed sign boards outside the mosque that read in Hindi, “Entering into the mosque for one girl or girls alone is prohibited”. The sign boards were installed outside each of the mosque’s three entrances.

However, no restriction has been imposed on married couples or families entering the mosque. Another sign board reads, “Video making with music is banned in the Jama Masjid”.

The source at the Raj Niwas said Saxena spoke to Imam Bukhari and requested him to rescind the order. Imam Bukhari agreed to withdraw the order with the request that visitors respect and maintain the sanctity of the mosque.

Meanwhile, reacting to the order, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued notice to Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid for restricting entry of single women and girls in the mosque.

In the notice, DCW chief Swati Maliwal questioned Shahi Imam on the recent guidelines imposing restrictions on entry of women and girls in the mosque.

The Commission took suo moto cognizance of media reports of restriction on entry of women in the mosque.

Reportedly, a notice has been placed at the entry of Jama Masjid, Delhi which states, “Jama Masjid me Ladki ya Ladkiyon ka akele dakhla mana hai”. The board prohibits the entry of women and girls in the Masjid who are not with male companions.

In her notice to Shahi Imam, the DCW chief has strongly recommended withdrawal of the ban against women.

The Commission has sought the reasons for prohibiting the entry of women and girls ‘without male companions’ in Jama Masjid.

The DCW has also sought details of the person responsible for restricting the entry of women and girls along with a copy of minutes of the meeting, in case the decision was taken in a meeting.

Further, the Commission has sought the details of steps being taken by authorities now for removing the restriction and ban.

The DCW has sought an action taken report by 28 November from Shahi Imam.

The DCW Chief said, “Jama Masjid in Delhi is a historical mosque and women have been going there to perform religious practices without any restriction since ages. Preventing women to freely enter and practice their religion in the mosque is highly discriminatory and an extremely regressive practice as a place of worship should be open to everyone, regardless of their gender. Such an order is clearly misogynistic and against the ethos of the Constitution of India. These guidelines must be withdrawn immediately. We have issued notice and shall take action.”