After facing severe flak, Delhi's historic Jama Masjid decided to revoke the decision of banning the entry of 'women' into the worship place.
On the condition that girls and women will 'respect and maintain the sanctity of Delhi Jama Masjid' premises, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam agreed to lift the ban on the entry of a particular gender.
According to media reports, the Imam's decision comes after L-G VK Saxena spoke to him, requesting him to rescind the order banning the entry of women.
Earlier today, the administration of Jama Masjid put up notices outside the main gates banning the entry of 'girls', whether alone or in groups. As the issue led to outrage in some quarters, the Shahi Imam stepped in to say the order is not applicable to those coming to offer prayers.
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.
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.
The decision had sparked controversy with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief slamming the administration and deeming the move regressive. Several other women's right activists also protested against such band and called it 'anti-women'.