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Maharashtra: Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey Transferred Over Azaan Row

He has now been appointed as the special IG of Prevention of Atrocities against Woman (PAW).

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India
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Just a few days after he said that bhajans and songs won't be allowed within 100 meters of a mosque and within 15 minutes before and after Azaan, Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey has been transferred and replaced by Jayant Naiknavare as Nashik's top cop.

Pandey has been appointed as the special IG of Prevention of Atrocities against Woman (PAW).

The transfer comes in the backdrop of a massive row stirred up by the "ultimatum" given by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, who has warned of repercussions if loudspeakers on mosques were not removed by 3 May.

"We don't want riots in Maharashtra. No one has opposed the offering of prayers. But if you (the Muslim community) do it on loudspeaker, then we'll also use loudspeakers for it. Muslims should understand that religion isn't bigger than the law. After 3 May, I'll see what to do," he had said while addressing a press conference on 17 April.

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Aim to 'Maintain Law and Order'

Deepak Pandey had said earlier this week that permission would have to be taken before playing the Hanuman Chalisa or a Bhajan in front of a mosque.

"It will not be allowed within 15 minutes before and after the Azaan. It will not be allowed within 100 metres of the mosque. The aim of this order is to maintain law and order," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

"All religious places have been directed to take permission for the use of loudspeakers by 3 May. After 3 May, if anyone is found violating the order, then legal action will be taken against the violators," he had added.

Pandey's Letter to the DGP 

Additionally, Pandey had written a letter earlier this month to Director General of Police Rajnish Sheth, and had alleged that revenue officials were closely linked to the land mafia and were harassing people, according to an Indian Express report.

He had referred to revenue officials and executive magistrate as "RDX" and "detonators".

The Maharashtra cabinet had expressed displeasure over the letter, and sources had then said that Paney is likely to face action and may be even transferred.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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