Amid Azaan row, Maharashtra bans Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers within 100m of mosques

Hanuman Chalisa or bhajan will not be allowed within 15 minutes before and after the Azaan.

Nashik police commissioner issued an order directing all religious places to seek permission for using loudspeakers by May 3.

Deepak Pandey, Commissioner of Police, Nashik, said that action will be taken against those found violating the order after the deadline.

The order was issued amid repeated warnings from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray to remove loudspeakers from mosques across the state.

On Sunday, Thackeray asked the Hindus to “wait till May 3” and play Hanuman Chalisa thereafter in front of the mosques that “don’t take down the loudspeakers” relaying Azaan, an Islamic call to prayer.

He insisted that relaying the ‘Azaan’ call is more of a social issue than a religious one and “if the use of loudspeakers continues then they (Muslims) will also have to listen to our prayers on loudspeakers”.

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Against the backdrop of Thackeray’s warnings, the Nashik police commissioner said that permission has to be taken for playing Hanuman Chalisa or bhajan on loudspeakers, reported ANI.

Citing the aim to maintain law and order in the district, Pandey said that Hanuman Chalisa or bhajan will not be allowed within 15 minutes before and after the Azaan.

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It will not be allowed within 100 metres of the mosque, he added, according to 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 said 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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