Maharashtra to restrict loudspeaker use at religious sites

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader raised the pitch for Hindutva, calling on "Hindu brothers" to "be prepared" if loudspeakers are not removed from mosques by May 3.

Maharashtra: Amid repeated ultimatums from MNS chief Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra home department has decided to implement the earlier court orders on the use of loudspeakers at religious sites.

The state government will now make it mandatory for religious sites to seek permission for using loudspeakers.

Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil will today hold a meeting with the director-general of police to instruct him to direct all police commissioners and officers on the decision, reported news agency ANI.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and home minister Patil will also meet to discuss the law and order situation in the state and the issue of the use of loudspeakers in public places, according to ANI.

Nashik Police commissioner has already issued an order making it mandatory to take permission loudspeakers and Maharashtra DGP has been directed to hold a review meeting with district administrations for implementing the order.

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The row over loudspeaker use escalated after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader raised the pitch for Hindutva, calling on “Hindu brothers” to “be prepared” if loudspeakers are not removed from mosques by May 3.

However, on Sunday, Thackeray insisted that loudspeakers relaying the ‘azaan’ call is more of a social issue than a religious one. He told a media briefing in Pune that he doesn’t want peace in the society disturbed, “but if the use of loudspeakers continues then they (Muslims) will also have to listen to our prayers on loudspeakers”.

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