Prayagraj IG bans loudspeakers during 10pm-6am after complaint against 'azaan'
The Inspector-General of Police, Prayagraj, has asked the District Magistrate to ensure a ban on the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am, following a complaint filed by Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor Sangita Srivastava. Srivastava had lodged a complaint seeking restriction on the use of loudspeakers early morning in mosques for azaan (the Islamic call to prayer). Here are more details on this.
In a letter to the District Magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) in the four districts that fall under the Prayagraj Range, IG KP Singh said that officials must implement the orders of the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court. The ban will cover the use of all loudspeakers and public address systems at public places.
Srivastava had written to District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami on March 3, saying she is "forced to wake up too early every day" due to azaan being recited on a mosque loudspeaker near her house. In her complaint, she had stated that the azaan call disturbs her sleep, which, in turn, causes a headache and impacts her work.
Srivastava also objected to the announcement of sehri, the morning meal consumed by Muslims during the month of Ramzan. "This practice also creates a disturbance to other people. The constitution of India envisages a secular and peaceful co-existence of all communities," her letter read.
Meanwhile, Kalimurrahman, a caretaker at the Lal Masjid, against which Srivastava had complained, told The Wire that they have reduced the volume of the loudspeaker by 50% and also changed the direction of the speaker facing her house after the complaint. "The issue could have been solved amicably even if she had come to us once," he said.
In January 2020, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that no religion advocates the use of loudspeakers for worship. "No religion prescribes that prayers are required to be performed through voice amplifiers or by beating of drums. If there is such a practice, it should not adversely affect rights of the others," the HC said. Srivastava had cited this court order in her letter.