Delhi’s Jama Masjid, which had announced that it was restricting the entry of any unaccompanied girl or group of girls into its premises, rolled back the decision on Thursday. Officials from Raj Niwas said Delhi Lieutenant-General Vinai Kumar Saxena had spoken to the Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, and had requested him to rescind the order.
The decision was taken by the managing committee—including Bukhari, other officials of Jama Masjid and Wakf Board chairperson Amanatullah Khan, who is also an AAP MLA—of the mosque and the board was put up 15 days ago. Jama Masjid’s public relations officer Sabiullah Khan said the board was put up to restrict the entry of single women who “give time to men, do wrong things” and treat the premises like a meeting point or park.
Shahi Imam Bukhari said: “There is no restriction on any woman entering the Jama Masjid… But if somebody turns this into a meeting point… brings a rose and proposes… whether that is a masjid, mandir or gurdwara, that is not reasonable. If a woman comes alone and wants to pray or see the masjid, she can do that. But if she says that she has given time to meet her boyfriend here usko toh roka jayega, na (we will stop her, right)? Either you come with your elders, your father, brother, mother… but boyfriend se milne aaye…yeh munasib nahi hai (it is not appropriate). In a gurdwara, can you stray from the instructions? There are no other restrictions, this is only for those people who have turned this into a meeting point… we received videos of this and people objected. Women are coming alone and in groups, there is no restriction on that.”