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Azaan Row: MNS to perform ‘Maha Aarti’ on Mike, Guj HC asks govt to clear its stand on loudspeaker use

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Lucknow: The Maharashtra director general of police met with district commissioners to discuss the ongoing debate over the use of loudspeakers at religious places, which was sparked by MNS head Raj Thackeray. Dilip Walse Patil, the home minister, stated that loudspeaker guidelines might be created in two days.

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Meanwhile, Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, gave tough instructions to police late at night. Officers have been ordered to keep a close eye on the situation and guarantee that no roads or public spaces are closed for religious procession. According to the directive, no new microphones will be installed, but police will check that current ones are within authorised limits. All field police officers’ leaves have been cancelled till May 4.

The origin of the loudspeaker debate?

The dispute erupted after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) head Raj Thackeray ordered that mosque loudspeakers be turned down, claiming that if this is not done, “there will be speakers outside mosques playing ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at higher volume”. Many leaders reacted to the announcement, and some groups stoked the ‘Azaan vs Hanuman Chalisa’ debate.

HERE ARE ALL THE LATEST UPDATES RELATED TO LOUDSPEAKER ROW:

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-As the debate over loudspeakers heats up, a fresh issue has erupted in Kerala, when a sign posted outside the Malliyodu Palottu Kaavu temple in Kunhimangalam, Kannur, said that Muslims were not permitted to enter the grounds during festival times. Protests in the vicinity erupted when the board was up during the Vishu-related celebration in the temple between April 14 and 19. It is not the first time, according to reports, that such a board has been spotted outside the temple during Vishu. A similar board with the same wording was placed outside the temple last year.

-At 10.30 a.m., Raj Thackeray met with all of his party’s office bearers at his home, ‘Shivtirth,’ to discuss his next plan on the loudspeaker problem. On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, MNS leader Nitin Sardesai declared that party activists will perform ‘Maha aarti’ at their local temples across the state on May 3. “The ‘aarti’ will be performed using loudspeakers,” he added.

– Dilip Walse Patil, Maharashtra’s home minister, said a day ago that the director general of police and the Mumbai police commissioner will draught rules for the use of loudspeakers in public spaces. “The guidelines 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 try to disturb the peace in the state,” he told the media.

-In Aligarh, the administration has stated that no new permissions would be granted, nor will a new custom of making religious pronouncements over the loudspeaker be permitted to begin. If someone wants to use the loudspeaker, they must first ask the magistrate for permission. Only after monitoring the situation in the region and evaluating the police report will the appropriate agency provide authorization.

-Rubina Khan, the president of the women’s section of the Samajwadi Party (SP), warned that if Hindu activists recite Hanuman Chalisa at 21 crossing places in Aligarh as planned, Muslim women will read the Quran in front of temples. An FIR has been filed against Khan as a result of the remarks.

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-The Bhim Army, led by Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan,’ has written to the Election Commission and the Maharashtra DGP, requesting a FIR against Raj Thackeray under section 298 of the Indian Penal Code (utterance or gesture in the presence of that person or places with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of that person). In the letter, the party’s national secretary, Ashok Kamble, asks the authorities to revoke Raj Thackeray’s MNS registration.

-“If loudspeakers are the main point of violence, then it should be banned in temples, mosques, gurdwaras, every where. This is only in the last eight years that a fight has started in the name of religion,” said Congress leader Rashid Alvi.

–Union minister Ramdas Athawale has stated that they are opposed to Raj Thackeray’s decision to remove loudspeakers from mosques. “If he wants, he can take permission and install loudspeakers near temples. This sort of politics should not happen. Each one should understand. The Muslims in India today were once Hindus,” he added

-According to reports, the Gujarat High Court has requested the state government to clarify its position on the use of loudspeakers for azaan at mosques across the state.

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