Bangalore, April 6 | The Karnataka Police on Wednesday issued an internal circular to initiate action against noise pollution in religious institutions and other places, amid an ongoing controversy over mosque loudspeakers.
Karnataka Director General and IGP Praveen Sood issued the circular to all Inspectors General of Police (IGP), Superintendents of Police (SP) and Commissioners of Police in the state.
“In the matter of noise pollution, you are directed to strictly follow the decision of the Karnataka High Court. In this regard, you are directed to take action against religious institutions, pubs and any other institutions and functions found to be in violation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 as per law.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, while reacting to developments in the state regarding religious matters, had said on Tuesday that all are equal before the government and it will work without any bias or discrimination. “All steps will be taken to ensure peace by not letting any individual or organization take the law into their own hands,” he said.
Describing Azaan, the Chief Minister said that an order in this regard has already been given by the Supreme Court. “There is also another order as to why his orders are not being implemented. Decibel limit is set and there is order to buy decibel meter.
“This is the work that has to be done by taking everyone into confidence. It cannot be forced. At the ground level, a meeting is being held with the community leaders on behalf of the police. In future also this will be done and action will be taken.”
However, after the Chief Minister’s statement, the circular CM Bommai has again expressed concern over the use of loudspeakers during ‘Azaan’ during the Ramzan season. According to the data submitted by the police department to the court, a total of 301 notices have been issued regarding noise pollution in the state between February 2021 and 2022. Of these, notices have been issued to 125 mosques, 83 temples and 22 churches. Along with this, 59 notices have been issued to pubs, bars, restaurants and 12 industries.
Meanwhile, Hindu organizations have been continuously demanding that Muslim traders be banned from temple premises and religious fairs. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) secretary Ravi Hosur has submitted a memorandum to Ramdurga Tehsildar of Belagavi district to prevent Muslim traders from participating in the Venkateswara religious fair. Hindu organizations have protested in Kalaburgi demanding removal of loudspeakers from mosques.