Amid Azaan row, Karnataka police issue circular to take action against noise pollution

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 Amid the row over mosque loudspeakers, the Karnataka Police on Wednesday issued an internal circular to initiate action against noise pollution in religious institutions and other places.

Director General and IGP of Karnataka Praveen Sood issued the circular to all the Inspector Generals of Police (IGP), Superintendents of Police (SP) and Commissioners of Police in the state.

“With regard to the matter of noise pollution, you are directed to adhere strictly to the decision of the High Court of Karnataka. In this regard, you are directed to take action against religious institutions, pubs and any other institution and functions, if found violating The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 as per the law,” the circular reads.

Reacting to the slew of developments in the state relating to religious matters, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday had stated that all are equal before the government and it would work without any bias or discrimination. “All steps would be taken to ensure peace by not letting any individual or organisation take law into their hands,” he said.

Explaining about ‘Azaan’, the Chief Minister said that there was already an order by the Apex Court in this regard. “There is also another order questioning why its orders are not being implemented. The limit of decibel is prescribed and there is an order to purchase a decibel meter.

“This is work which has to be done by taking everyone into confidence. It can’t be done forcefully. At the ground level meetings are being conveyed by the police with the community leaders. It will be done in the future also and action would be taken,” he said.

However, the circular follows the statement of the Chief Minister CM Bommai has again raised concerns over the use of loudspeakers during ‘Azaan’ in the ongoing Ramzan season. According to the statistics submitted to the court by the police department, a total of 301 notices have been issued in connection with the noise pollution in the state between 2021 to 2022 February. Among which 125 notices have been issued to mosques, 83 temples and 22 churches. Along with this, 59 notices are issued to pubs, bars, restaurants and 12 Industries have been given notices.

Meanwhile, the Hindu organisations continue to demand banning the Muslim merchants from temple premises and religious fairs. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Secretary Ravi Hosur has submitted a memorandum to Ramdurga Tehsildar in Belagavi district to restrict Muslim merchants from participating in Venkateshwara religious fair. Hindu organisations have staged a protest in Kalaburagi demanding removal of loud speakers from mosques. — IANS

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