A group of Bareilly residents, have approached the local administration against use of loudspeakers in mosques for early morning sehri wakeup calls during Ramzan, reported The Times of India. Members of both the Hindu and Muslim communities in Premnagar reportedly approached the district administration last week and submitted a memorandum.
Taking note of the complaint, district authorities have decided to ask the mosques concerned to lower the volume of the announcements, else the loudspeakers would be uninstalled. “I have instructed the superintendent of police (city) to investigate the matter and take action in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines. Either the loudspeakers will be uninstalled from the religious places or the caretakers will have to play them on a low volume,” additional district magistrate (ADM) Alok Kumar told TOI.
The Supreme Court had issued guidelines stating that loudspeakers cannot be used between 10 pm and 6 am since peaceful sleep is a fundamental right under Article 21.
“Whether it is a temple or a mosque, no religion allows bothering others. My father is a heart patient who underwent an open heart surgery just last year. He and my 73-year-old mother have not slept peacefully for days,” one of the complainants Shobhit Saxena told TOI adding that seven Muslim neighbours were also among the complainants.
One of the complainants, Asif Beg, claimed he was targeted by some people. “They stopped me near the mosque when I was on my way home in the evening and told me that I would go to hell as I had complained against the mosque loudspeakers. They even assaulted me and escaped from the scene,” Beg alleged.
“It’s wrong to use loudspeakers persistently to wake up people for sehri,” a Bareilly cleric, Maulana Shahabbudin Rizvi, said. “Some clerics are using recorded voices and playing them to bother others, which is against the spirit of Ramzan,” he added.
Recently, 17 mosques in Kerala’s Malappuram decided to cut down the number of azaans — call for prayer — to just one, instead of five times, in a day in the wake of complaints of loud noise.