Bengaluru Police on Thursday issued notices to 301 mosques, temples, churches, and other establishments to use their loudspeakers within the permissible decibel levels, said Kamal pant, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru on Thursday.
Of the 301 notices served, 59 have been given to pubs, bars and restaurants, 12 to industries, 83 to temples, 22 to churches and 125 to mosques across the city. The move comes after some right-wing activists demanded the shutting down of loudspeakers which is violating the noise pollution rules. In this regard, they also met commissioners and other police officers across the state.
Maulana Maqsood Imran Rashidi (Imam Jamia Masjid City Market) told ANI that they have received a notice from the police department and they will follow the order which has been given as per the directions of the Supreme Court related to the decibels of the loudspeaker.
“Many mosques have received the notice. We have been told to maintain the sound level. They have said that the directions issued by the Supreme Court need to be adhered to and if the orders are not followed then action will be initiated,” the Imam said.
He further said that they have started fitting the device which ensures that the sound does not cross the permissible level and no one is disturbed.
“We will follow all the orders which have been given as per the directions of the Supreme Court related to the decibels of the loudspeaker. Temples have also received the notice in this regard. If we all follow the rules then there will be no problem,” he added.
The Imam urged the government to take strict action against those who try to disturb the peace and create violence.
“We should keep discrimination aside and should work together for the development of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday had accused Congress of doing vote bank politics over the loudspeaker issue stating that Congress vote bank politics is creating all these problems.
He further said that the High Court order of decibel meters has been passed on it as well and it is not only for Azaan but for all loudspeakers.
“They are really hypocrites. Who started the Hijab issue and why did they raise their voice against the people who started the hijab and who violated the Court orders, why they were silent then? Congress vote bank politics is creating all these problems and we are solving them one by one. This is the order of the High Court order, nothing is done through force. It is not only for Azaan but for all loudspeakers,” said Bommai slamming the Congress for politicising the issues.
However, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had accused the ruling BJP of manipulating society by using communal issues for political gains in the upcoming Assembly elections, adding that row over loudspeakers at mosques will backfire Bommai government in the upcoming state elections.
Earlier, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had given an order to state police to look into it and take them into confidence and implement the High Court’s order.
The order is not only for Azaan but for buses also there are some rules and noise had to be specific decibels. It is for illegal loudspeakers who are violating pollution rules.
There are court orders as well. That has to be implemented. We have instructed police officials to look into it and take them into coincidence. There is no opportunity to create a law and order situation. It’s for each and everyone not only for mosques. The High court orders have to be followed,” he said.
State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the decibel level set by the Supreme Court is not only applicable to any one religion but is for every citizen.
“The Supreme Court had already settled the matter a few years ago. There is already a settled law for it. So as part of maintaining and minimizing the sound pollution, a decibel level has been set and it is not applicable to one religion. The law applies to each and every citizen,” said Sudhakar.
The Minister also urged not to politicize everything and to respect the views and judgment of law of the land.
Reacting to Siddaramaiah’s remark, state Revenue Minister R Ashok said that his allegations are baseless and neither the government nor the Chief Minister is involved in such things.
“This is unfortunate, a man like Siddaramaiah is blaming the Chief Minister who is not involved in such things. Neither the government nor the chief minister is involved in such things. A baseless thing has been said by Siddaramaiah,” Ashok said.
He further urged Siddaramaiah to maintain his dignity through his behaviour and the way he speaks.
“He knows that who is responsible for all such things. Politicians always see the votes. This is only a desperate attempt by Siddaramaiah,” he added.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had also said that the Maharashtra Home Minister has also given the notice to maintain the decibel level for Azaan.
The debate sparked after the Maharashtra NavnirmanSena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray asked the state government to remove the loudspeakers from mosques and warned of “putting loudspeakers in front of the mosques and play Hanuman Chalisa”.
“I am not against prayers, you can pray at your home, but the government should take a decision on removing mosque loudspeakers. I am warning now… Remove loudspeakers or else will put loudspeakers in front of the mosque and play Hanuman Chalisa.”
Additionally, Thackeray also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raid the mosques in the Muslim areas in Mumbai and said that the people living there are “Pakistani supporters”.
“I appeal to PM Modi to raid the Madarasas at the Muslim shanties. Pakistani supporters are residing in these shanties. Mumbai Police knows what’s happening there…Our MLAs using them for vote-bank, such people don’t even have Aadhar Card, but the MLAs get them made,” he said.
As per the Supreme Court order in the industrial area, there can be a noise of 75 decibels in the daytime and at night 70 decibels while in the commercial area a noise of 65 decibels in the day and 55 decibels at the night is allowed. In residential areas 55 decibels in the day time and 45 decibels at night time.
Also, in the silence zone, 50 decibels of noise are allowed during the day and 40 decibels at the night.