Booking Under Section 153(A), Permission For Mosque Loudspeakers; Here Are Steps Maharashtra Police Will Take Amid Communal Tension

Mumbai: Amid the ongoing row over loudspeaker in mosques, in order to maintain peace and communal harmony in the state, Maharashtra Police has announced a list of steps being taken by them. This also comes amid ongoing communal violence in different parts of states.

“Maharashtra Police started taking preventive action on those having cases regarding communal disputes, and IPC section 153(A) and 295(A), against them. People found giving provocative speeches will be arrested. Guidelines on media’s reportage of such issues might also come,” the police said in a statement.

Section 153(A) of Indian Penal Code pertains to offences related with ‘promoting enmity between different groups on grounds such as religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.’ Section 295(A), is imposed against anyone, who, ‘deliberately and with malicious intention, outraged religious feelings of any class among citizens of India.’

The controversy over azaan and loudspeaker erupted earlier this month when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief, Raj Thackeray spoke azbout the issue in a rally at Thane. He also warned that if no action will be taken against loudspeakers at mosques by the state government, then his party workers would play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in front of mosques. He has given government deadline till May 3. 

The Maharashtra government has decided to implement an earlier court order, and make it mandatory for religious sites to seek official permission to use loudspeakers.

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