A letter from the office of the Karnataka Director-General and Inspector-General of Police (DG&IGP) stating that 'suitable action' should be taken on a petition seeking the removal of loudspeakers from mosques caused confusion this week. Advocate Harsha Muthalik sought the removal of loudspeakers from mosques citing disturbance to residences in a petition to the DG&IGP on September 30.
The office of the DG&IGP forwarded the petition with a cover letter to all district police heads in the state on November 2. The letter was shared widely on social media particularly by pro-Hindu groups claiming that it was indicative of police taking action on mosques to remove loudspeakers. However, after the letter caused a stir, DG&IGP Praveen Sood sought to play down the issue stating that it is not a circular and that it was not signed, reported The Hindu. Later on Thursday, the Karnataka state police issued a statement saying there are no instructions to remove loudspeakers from mosques and that the letter was issued by a clerk without authorisation.
"On verification, it is found that this letter has been issued mischievously without proper authorisation of superiors by the clerk addressed to all Police Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the Districts of Karnataka State. However no such instructions have been issued to remove the sound systems from the mosques as is being interpreted in the social media. Further enquiry into the matter is underway," a statement from the Karnataka state police fact check team said.
"Public are advised not to heed to any such rumours or misleading interpretations," the statement from the state police fact check team said. Muslim leaders in Bengaluru raised alarm bells that the letter will be used by pro-Hindu groups to arm-twist mosque officials into removing loudspeakers.