- Police said that prior permission should be obtained to use loudspeakers at religious places
- Unauthorised use of loudspeakers at all religious places would invite strict punitive action
Amid a raging controversy over the usage of loudspeakers at religious places, the Nashik Police has issued an order making it mandatory to take permission for using loudspeakers at religious places.
Police said that prior permission should be obtained from the administration to use loudspeakers at religious places before May 3. Those violating the order will be subject to punitive action.
Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil said that any unauthorised use of loudspeakers at all religious places or religious functions would invite strict punitive action against the violators.
"We had issued an order to shut all loudspeakers and DJs. No one can take law into their own hands. If anyone tries to disturb the peace, strict actions will be taken against them. We will follow the instructions of the Maharashtra government," Deepak Pandey, Nashik Police Commissioner, said.
Police also said that loudspeakers will not be allowed for the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa and other activities within 100 metres of mosques 15 minutes before and after the Azaan.
The development came after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray last week reiterated his demand that loudspeakers on mosques be removed by May 3 or else MNS will play 'Hanuman Chalisa' eulogising Lord Hanuman on loudspeakers outside mosques five times daily.
According to Raj Thackeray, loudspeakers relaying the 'Azaan' call is more of a social issue than a religious one. He had said that if the use of loudspeakers continues then Muslims will also have to "listen to our prayers on loudspeakers".
He is scheduled to address a public gathering at Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) on May 1. On June 5, Thackeray said that he will visit Ayodhya for darshan along with MNS workers.