May 11, 2022

Maharashtra Home Minister urges Center to formulate national policy on use of loudspeakers

Amid Raj Thackeray’s ultimatum, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil urged the Center to formulate a national policy on the use of loudspeakers. Speaking to the media on Friday, Patil thanked people for cooperating with the administration and helping maintain law and order in the state. During his May Day rally, Raj Thackeray gave an ultimatum to the state government led by Uddhav Thackeray to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 4, failing which he warned that Hanuman Chalisa would be played at double volume in front of such places of worship.

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said: “When I spoke to all senior officials and leaders of all political parties, I said that the Center should come up with a policy for the whole of the country. But whatever incidents happened, I thank everyone – be it the Hindu community or the Muslim community from the bottom of my heart. They have given tremendous cooperation and that is why the question was dealt with peacefully.” It is pertinent to note that Shiv Sena openly accused Thackeray of raising the issue of the loudspeakers at the behest of the BJP.

Raj Thackeray’s loudspeaker ultimatum

On Wednesday, police intervened and arrested more than 250 MNS employees across the state who attempted to play Hanuman Chalisa. Additionally, the Mumbai Police has also issued a notice to Thackeray under Section 149 of the CrPC which empowers the police to intervene to prevent a recognizable offence. However, he was undeterred by the action taken against his party activists and said the unrest will continue until illegal loudspeakers are removed from places of worship, especially mosques.

Objecting to the fact that the police allowed some mosques to install loudspeakers, Raj Thackeray told the media: “Majority of the mosques in Maharashtra are not authorized. Loudspeakers installed in unauthorized mosques are not not allowed and those allowed by the government are allowed? It’s beyond my imagination. Why do you allow unauthorized things? The reason for taking the press conference now is that this problem is not limited to Azaan. Our workers will play Hanuman Chalisa if prayers are offered throughout the rest of the day over loudspeakers.”

He added, “Our unrest will continue until all unauthorized speakers are removed. The unrest is not about 1 day. It’s a long term problem. When the government of the state says we’re following the Supreme Court, so do it completely. We’re not going to be happy just because Azaan hasn’t happened in 92% of places today.”

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