Nashik Police Commisisoner Deepak Pandey has issued a directive stating that no one will be allowed to play bhajan or other songs on loudspeaker in the 15-minute span before and after the call of azaan in the radius of 100-meters of any mosques that appears under the jurisdiction of Nashik Police Commissionerate.
The order comes in the backdrop of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) call against the use of loudspeakers in mosques and its threat to recite Hanuman Chalisa in front of them if the state government did not remove the equipment by May 3.
On Monday, Pandey also issued a directive to religious places in the city instructing them to take permission for usage of loudspeakers. The directives further read that the permission has to be sought before May 3 otherwise legal action shall be taken against those violating the rule.
The commissioner has said that the directives were issued under sections 40 (1), 33 (D) (3), 36 (D) (K) of the Maharashtra Police Act in order to ensure that peace and harmony is maintained in the society.
“Every church, temple, gurudwara and mosques will have to file an application at Nashik police commissionerate seeking permissions to use loudspeakers. This order will come into effect from 3 May 2022,” read the order.
The commissioner has further directed every religious place to use loudspeakers within the permitted decibel level as per the order passed by the Supreme Court of India.
“Giving azaan is identified as a customary right and if any feels that this right is coming in the way of (their) legal right, that person is requested to appeal in court and if the court approves then present the order copy before the police after which necessary changes shall be made,” said Pandey.
The commissioner said “illegally used loudspeakers” shall be confiscated from religious places which fail to seek the requisite police permission before May 3.
The police said it would take legal action against people who are found flouting the latest rules issued by Pandey.
“The violator can also be externed or detained under Maharashtra Prevention of Communal, Anti Social and dangerous activities act 1980 for six months,” read the order.