As response to a complaint filed by Allahabad University Vice Chancellor Sangita Srivastava seeking restrictions on the use of loudspeakers, early morning in mosques, KP Singh, the Inspector General of Police, Prayagraj has requested the district magistrate to ensure a ban on the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6am. The ban will cover use of all loudspeakers and public address systems at public places.
In a letter to the district magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police in the four districts that fall under the Prayagraj Range, IG K.P. Singh said the officials must implement orders of the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.
The letter directs the district magistrates and police chiefs to implement a ban on use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am in accordance with environment laws and past court orders.
Sangita Srivastava has triggered a controversy after she allegedly complained to the district administration in Prayagraj about “disturbance” caused to her by the call for azaan from a mosque near her residence each morning.
In the letter, Sangita writes to District Magistrate (DM) Bhanu Pratap Goswami saying that every day at about 5.30 a.m., her sleep was “disturbed due to loud azaan” from the “mike” by the maulvi of a mosque nearby.
“The sleep so disturbed does not resume even after trying very hard. This also results in a headache through the day, causing loss of work hours,” she wrote.
Sangita appealed to the DM to provide a “quick response” to “restore some peace and tranquillity in the minds of all those suffering” from the loud azaan.
She, however, clarified that she was not against any religion, caste or creed. “They may perform the azaan without the mike so that others are not disturbed,” she added.
Sangita referred to a 2020 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that allows azaan in mosques but without amplifiers or loudspeakers.
In her letter, she also raised her objection to the announcement for sehri (meal consumed in the morning by Muslims during Ramzan). This practice is also a disturbance for other people, she claimed.
She had also sent a copy of this letter to the Allahabad divisional commissioner, the Inspector General of Police and the senior superintendent of police.
The mosque committee of Lal Mosque, about which she was referring to has reduced the volume by 50 per cent and has turned the direction of the speaker away from her house.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Board of Auqaf (wakf) has restricted the managements of mosques and dargahs from using loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am
The board, in a circular dated March 9, 2021, cited the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, and said loudspeakers used during the daytime shall adhere to ambient air quality standards in respect of noise.