Mumbai: The Nashik police commissioner issued an order on Monday asking all religious institutions to apply for permission to use loudspeakers by May 3. Nashik Commissioner of Police Deepak Pandey said that if the order is broken after the deadline, action will be taken.
The directive came after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) head Raj Thackeray issued repeated warnings to remove loudspeakers from mosques across the state. Thackeray said on Sunday that Hindus should “wait until May 3” and then play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques that “don’t take down the loudspeakers” conveying Azaan, an Islamic call to prayer.
He claimed that relaying the ‘Azaan’ call is a social rather than a theological matter, adding that “if the use of loudspeakers continues, they (Muslims) would have to listen to our prayers over loudspeakers as well.”
Following Thackeray’s concerns, the Nashik police commissioner stated that permission must be obtained before playing Hanuman Chalisa or bhajan on loudspeakers, acording to ANI. Pandey stated that Hanuman Chalisa or bhajan will not be allowed within 15 minutes before or after the Azaan, citing the goal of maintaining law and order in the district.
It will not be allowed within 100 meters of the mosque, he added according to news agency ANI.
“All religious places have been directed to take permission for use of loudspeakers by May 3. After May 3, if anyone is found violating the order then legal action to be taken against the violators,” ANI quoted Pandey as saying.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil has claimed that the guidelines on the use of loudspeakers in public places will be issued in the next 1-2 days.
“We have kept an eye on the law and order situation in the state. Strict action will be taken against those who attempt to disturb peace in the state,” ANI quoted the NCP leader as saying.
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