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On loudspeaker row, Raj Thackeray says Muslims should understand religion isn`t bigger than law

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing loudspeaker row, addressing a press conference, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday, April 17, clarified that his demand to remove loudspeakers from mosques has not stemmed from his opposition to the offering of the prayers by Muslims. Thackeray also said that his party doesn’t want any riots in Maharashtra.

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“We don’t want riots in Maharashtra. No one has opposed the offering of prayers. But if you (Muslims) do it on loudspeaker, then we’ll also use loudspeakers for it. Muslims should understand that religion isn’t bigger than the law. After May 3, I’ll see what to do,” said Raj Thackeray.

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From the Gudi Padwa rally in the state, Raj Thackeray gave a call against loudspeakers playing azaan and said his party will play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques if the state government does not remove these loudspeakers by May 3.

The Maharashtra government has taken a strong stand against Raj Thackeray’s ‘divisive’ call with Sanjay Raut comparing Raj Thackeray’s role in Maharashtra with that of Asaduddin Owaisi in Uttar Pradesh.

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“There were attempts to jeopardise peace in Maharashtra but people and police here are peaceful. Some people had mission to provoke riots in name of Ram and Hanuman through ‘new Owaisi’…’Hindu Owaisi’ of the state…We won’t let that happen,” Raut said on Sunday.

Even Lord Ram will be restless over developments: Sanjay Raut

Meanwhile, in a veiled barb at BJP, Sanjay Raut on Sunday said that stoking communal fires in the name of Shriram is an insult to the very “idea of Lord Ram”.

Lord Ram will be restless over the developments in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, where communal clashes on Ram Navami led to the imposition of curfew, Raut added.

In his weekly column “Rokhthok”, Raut wrote, “if someone wants to stoke the fire of fundamentalism and disturb the peace to win elections, they are sowing seeds of a second Partition”.

Referring to communal clashes in various parts of the country on Ram Navami on April 10, Raut stated it was not a good sign. “Earlier, Ram Navami processions were all about culture and religion. But now swords are brandished and communal discord is created. Ruckus was created outside mosques resulting in violence,” he alleged.

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Defending his moniker for Raj Thackeray, Sanjay Raut said, “I have not taken anybody’s name. I have just said whatever work BJP made to do AIMIM’s Owaisi to win UP elections, the same is being executed by the BJP through Maharashtra’s ‘New Hindu Owaisi’.”

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