Jama Masjid bars entry of women; rule not applicable to those coming for prayers

Jama Masjid bans entry of girls: Notices prohibiting the entry of “girls,” whether travelling alone or in groups, have been posted outside the main gates of Delhi’s renowned Jama Masjid by the administration. The Shahi Imam intervened to clarify that the rule does not apply to girls who are coming for prayers.

The placards, which bear no date, first appeared outside the three main entry gates a few days ago, according to administrative sources. However, nobody was aware of it until recently.

“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.

The decision was made, according to Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam, after some “incidents” were reportedly recorded on the grounds of the historic building.

Jama Masjid bans entry of girls

“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 told media.

“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.

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Swati Maliwal, the head of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), referred to it as a breach of women’s rights and said that she was sending a notice.

“It is completely wrong to ban the entry of women in Jama Masjid. The kind of rights a man has to praying, women also have the same rights. I am issuing a notice to imam of Jama Masjid. Nobody has the right to ban entry of women in this way,” she said on Twitter.

Both tourists and devotees flock to the monument from the Mughal era, built in the 17th century.

Swati Maliwal’s reaction to the rule

The head of Delhi Commission of women reacted the rule and 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.”


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