Tension over loudspeakers in Bijnor: ‘Why live in a place where you can’t celebrate festivals?’

On the morning of April 5, Hindus of Jogirampuri and neighbouring villages reached the Shiva temple for Ram Navami celebrations.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | Bijnor | Updated: April 15, 2017 8:30 am
Bijnor, Bijnor loudspeaker, Bijnor UP, uttar pradesh, latest news, latest india news, indian express Walls of at least 15 structures in Jogirampuri village have “this building is for sale” scribbled in blue paint. (Express/Gajendra Yadav)

More Than a week after Ram Navami celebrations at a local temple in the village created tension between Hindus and Muslims, normalcy is yet to return in Bijnor’s Jogirampuri village. With half a dozen policemen guarding the temple and around 20 others stationed in other parts of Jogirampuri, at least 15 houses and shops have “this building is for sale” scribbled in blue paint on the walls.

On the morning of April 5, Hindus of Jogirampuri and neighbouring villages reached the Shiva temple for Ram Navami celebrations. The event was attended by Hindu Yuva Vahini’s Moradabad president N P Singh. “The event went on till late afternoon. Around 4-5 pm, it was time for the evening prayers at the village mosque. This is when trouble began,” says Ashok Kumar Yadav, circle officer (Nagina), Bijnor.

In Jogirampuri, where the majority of the residents are Muslims, a section of Hindu residents demanded that the loudspeaker on the temple’s dome should not be taken down.

“Prior to the celebrations, there had been a meeting between the two communities where it was decided that during Ram Navami a sound system would be used and it would be placed on the ground. However, some residents did not abide by the decision and placed the loudspeaker on the temple’s dome. The Ram Navami event happened without any interruption. However, later there was a demand to remove the loudspeaker because it was a violation of the agreement,” Yadav said.

Some Hindu residents alleged that the device was removed by cops.

Subdivisional magistrate, Najibabad, V K Singh said, “On Ram Navami, the loudspeaker on the temple’s dome was placed in violation of the agreement. In order to avoid any law and order situation, the police brought it down. Talks are in their final stage.”

N P Singh, on the other hand, alleged that earlier state governments had been “in favour of one community”. “A government is like the head of a family and it has to take all its members along. This did not happen with earlier governments here. If mosques have been given permission to use loudspeakers, temples should be allowed the same privileges,” he said.

In the seven days which have followed the incident, meetings between the two groups along with district administration and police have gone in vain. “Our demand is that the loudspeaker be allowed to stay on top of the temple dome. We should be allowed to use it for at least 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 minutes in the evening. On all festivals observed by us, we should be allowed to use the loudspeaker for 24 hours,” said Daya Ram Saini, president of the Shiv Mandir Committee in the village.

For Muslim residents of the village, the friction between the two groups has come as a shock. They said they had largely lived peacefully. “There are some external elements who are provoking people here,” said Mohammad Rafi Ansari, a former village head of Jogirampuri.

Jogirampuri’s Hindu residents are threatening to migrate from the village if their demands are not met. “What is the point of living in a place where you cannot take out a marriage procession, celebrate festivals and show devotion to your gods?” asks Roshan Kumar who runs a stationary and photocopying shop in the village.

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  1. S
    Suparno Roy
    Apr 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm
    Please ban loudspeaker from all Temples, Mosques and election rallies. If you want to convey any message do through any other means that do not pollute the atmosphere. Sound pollution has become rampant and very annoying.
    1. M
      marwak d
      Apr 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm
      Muslims are criminal society. Their only religion is terror. It starts with the girls and women of their own home. They can marry the girls from their own family. This dirt they spread wherever they go. Europe, America, Asia are all examples. Even Bangladesh, Syria, & you name it they are spreading their dirty thinking.
      1. A
        Apr 15, 2017 at 11:33 am
        If mosques are permitted to use loudspeakers why not temples? Why favour one religion when that community claims a minority sratus? Why does Islam previleges to muslims when my country gives equal opportunity to all?
        1. K
          Apr 15, 2017 at 11:44 am
          Who said it to you? Our country does not give equal opportunity to all. Just see the Quota Raj :)
        2. N
          Apr 15, 2017 at 11:30 am
          RSSS needs to dismanteled completely from india
          1. P
            Apr 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm
            Where did you read RSS in this news story?
          2. S
            Apr 15, 2017 at 11:20 am
            After reading many comments in this forum one can easily understand that how pathetic and uneducated people are living. The article itself clearly mentioned that both community have agreed conditions on how to proceed with the festivals and should be abide of it. Its nothing to do with who is majority or minority in that village. One should be surprised that in majority Hindu area you cannot see single mosque should I say its Hindu appea t. So grow up from your narrow minded Muslims living from ancient time dont divide it. Anything related to religion protested it for both then only India can be progress.
            1. P
              Apr 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm
              What kind of agreement is this, that Hindus are not allowed to maintain loudspeakers on temples, when Muslims are allowed to keep loudspeakers throughout the year?? Hindu-majority areas do not have mosques?? Which country are you living in?? Or you must be blind. I grew up in a Hindu-majority area, and woke up to Azan every morning for 30 years. Don't talk nonsense.
            2. K
              Kumar Gaurav
              Apr 15, 2017 at 10:57 am
              My take... No one should object on 5 times namaj..And no one should object on the loudspeakers by the hindus..What's the problem here. tolerance by muslims when in majority?
              1. N
                Naresh Gupta
                Apr 15, 2017 at 11:44 am
                Why use loudspeakers by both communities is thier god deaf ?
              2. A
                ak dev
                Apr 15, 2017 at 10:47 am
                Bijnor is known only for Hindu-Muslim riots.
                1. T
                  Apr 15, 2017 at 10:40 am
                  Gimmick to creat a riot befire embly elevtion .simple.... God is great ajd he will never spare these RSS goons to make people kill each othe.. ...he will teach them a lesson
                  1. P
                    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm
                    Yes, let's get rid of RSS and then bring in ISIS, who are messengers of peace. I hope you get to good treatment from peace-lovers of ISIS.
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