Muslim clerics have welcomed the implementation of Allahabad high court order regulating use of loudspeakers at religious and public places. They however apprehended that the state administration could discriminate against Muslims and the order could be used as a tool to target the community ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Welcoming the UP government’s move on removal of illegal loudspeakers from religious places, Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Zafaryaab Jilani said, “I welcome the order as this is in the interest of the society and the nation. The order should be implemented without any discrimination. If the police are given powers to implement the High Court order and they discriminate then there will be protests.’’
Member of Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Kasmi opined, “There should be no scope for discrimination against any body on any ground. The government should either impose a blanket ban on loudspeakers or should regulate its use without any bias.”
President of All India Imam Association, Maulana Sadiq Rashidi said,”Loudspeaker is not a part of religion and we welcome the order of Allahabad High Court. However, the demand by Shankaracharya Swami Swroopanand Saraswati that loudspeakers installed at mosques be removed first, has created doubts among Muslims that their community might be targeted misuing the order.’’
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said, “All religious places be allowed to use loudspeakers and there should be a cut off date for issuing permission. The BJP is known for negative politics and it is difficult to trust this government as they practice `ek haath mein mala, dusre haath mein bhalaa’.’’
Cleric Maulana Sufiyan Nizami said, “The Allahabad High Court’s order should be welcomed by everyone as it is in the interest of the nation. But if the government has to act it should first check on loudspeakers used in private functions such as marriages and political rallies. Use of loudspeakers at religious places is done for a limited period. The common Muslims have doubts over intention of the Yogi government.’’
“Soon after coming to power Yogi Adityanath had announced that playing of DJ by Kanwariyas during Shravan would not be allowed but it was never implemented. So we doubt whether this order will be implemented without bias,’’ said he.
After being pulled up by Allahabad High Court over noise pollution, the UP government on Sunday issued detailed directives on the use of permanently installed loudspeakers at public places.
In December 2017, the High Court had asked UP government whether loudspeakers or public address systems set up at mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras etc. were done after obtaining written permission from authorities. The Yogi government set a deadline of January 15 to obtain permission from authorities on loudspeaker usage. The government has directed action against authorities who fail to ensure compliance.