State news

Raj Thackeray says, his agitation would continue as long as loudspeakers are used in mosques of Maharashtra

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday said, his agitation would continue as long as loudspeakers are used in the mosques of Maharashtra and clarified that its not a religious issue, but a matter of social concern. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, MNS Chief said, it is not just a matter of mosque, but if anyone has similar problem in respect of any temple, then same action should be taken against it, too. He also reiterated that Azan should be offered as per the decibels prescribed by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Thackeray also thanked the Muslim clerics in Mumbai who showed restraint in using loudspeakers for the Azan. He said, more than 90 per cent of the people did not use loudspeakers for Azan in Mumbai today. However, he expressed his resentment on some of the mosques using loudspeakers for Azan before 5 a.m. He said, there are 1,140 mosques in Mumbai out of which 135 defied the legal directives and used loudspeakers for offering Azan in the morning before 5 a.m. He questioned the State Government about the action they would be taking against the mosques who violated the Court directive. Mr. Thackeray slammed the State Government for not taking any action on the mosques built on encroached land and said, the government, instead of taking action against the erring bodies, is permitting them to use loudspeakers.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Police claimed that it has detained more than 250 MNS workers for playing Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers. Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, 2,500 security personnel were deployed across the city to maintain law and order and the situation is under control. He said, many mosques did not play morning Azaan on loudspeaker voluntarily, following SC guidelines.

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