After Maharashtra and Karnataka, the row over the use of loudspeakers by religious institutions has now reached Rajasthan. The Ajmer district administration on Thursday, 7 April, issued an order banning the use of loudspeakers in all public and religious places.
Citing the Rajasthan Noise Control Act, 1963 and a 2005 Supreme Court order, the notice prohibits the use of loudspeakers "in public and religious places to maintain peace".
"It is necessary and expedient to do so in order to prevent the hindrance caused by noise pollution, and the risk of discomfort," the order states.
Another order issued by the Ajmer administration bans the use of flags with religious symbols in the entire urban and rural area of the district.
The notice states that the directive has been issued in order to prevent "breach of public peace and adverse disruption of law and order and social harmony".
What Had Happened in Karnataka & Maharashtra?
The Karnataka Police said on Thursday that it had issued notices to over 300 establishments across the state, including mosques, directing them not to violate noise pollution rules.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Friday, 8 April, said that a notice has been issued to religious institutions across the state to reduce noise to permissible limits, in order to prevent punitive action.
The notice was sent after various right-wing organisations in Karnataka had raised complaints with the police, requesting them to stop the "misuse" of loudspeakers at mosques, saying that it caused disturbances in surrounding areas.
Before this, Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mohit Kamboj on 5 April has offered to bankroll loudspeakers to play the Hanuman Chalisa to counter Azaan, as part of a campaign seeking to ban loudspeakers from mosques.
This had come after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had urged the Maharashtra government on 2 April to remove loudspeakers from mosques, adding that if it was not done, he would play the Hanuman Chalisa on speakers.