Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that the state would “not hesitate to resort to harsh measures" against those who take the law into their own hands.

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra
news Controversy Monday, May 09, 2022 - 13:03

With the row over allowing mosques to play the ‘azaan’ or Islamic call to prayer over loudspeakers intensifying in Karnataka, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has said that strict action will be taken against those violating established norms on noise levels and noise pollution. The minister's remarks come after right-wing organisation Sri Ram Sene, headed by Pramod Muthalik, played Hanuman Chalisa and other Hindu devotional songs at temples at 5 am as a form of protest against the azaan being played by mosques on loudspeakers before 6 am.  When the minister was asked about the Sri Rama Sene's campaign, he said that the state would “not hesitate to resort to harsh measures" against those who take the law into their own hands.

Muthalik had said that the devotional songs would be played at over 1,000 temples across Karnataka at 5 am starting from Monday. On Monday, May 9, Muthalik and a few other Ram Sene members gathered at the Hanuman temple in Mysuru to play the devotional songs. Condemning this, Home Minister Jnanendra said that in order to “control any activity that causes noise pollution, strict action against those violating the Supreme Court’s orders will be taken.” The Supreme Court had in 2005 banned the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am except for emergencies, citing noise pollution. In March 2021, the Karnataka Waqf Board had issued a circular to mosques in the state to only use loudspeakers between 6 am and 10 pm, and to keep the decibel levels low.

Read: Under what law are loudspeakers allowed in mosques? HC asks Karnataka govt

While Pramod Muthalik and others carried out their protest in Mysuru, a group of Sri Ram Sene cadre who tried to carry out a similar protest in Bengaluru were detained by police as a preventative measure on Monday. A police official attached to the Ashok Nagar station told TNM that 16 activists wanted to play devotional songs at a Ram temple in Austin Town during the time of azaan in the morning. The temple committee, in this case, had denied permission to the Sri Ram Sene members and the police were called to prevent a law and order situation.

Read: Sri Ram Sene plays Hindu chants on loudspeakers in Karnataka as 'counter to azaan’

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