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UP Hindus, Muslims unite against 3am ‘loud sehri’ call

June 18, 2017

1497697779-SpeakersBareilly: Residents of Bareilly’s Premnagar, Hindus as well as a few Muslims, have approached the local administration against the use of loudspeakers by seven mosques to issue the wake-up call for ‘sehri’ at 3 am daily during Ramzan.

In the wake of the complaint, the authorities have decided to take up the matter with the administration at the mosques, and get them to either take down the loudspeakers or mute them.

“I have instructed the superintendent of police (city) to investigate the matter and take action in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines. Either the loudspeakers will be uninstalled from the religious places or the caretakers will have to play them at a low volume,” additional district magistrate (ADM) Alok Kumar told TOI.

According to the apex court’s guidelines, loudspeakers cannot be used between 10 pm and 6 am. Besides this, defining peaceful sleep as a fundamental right under Article 21, the SC had observed, “To disturb sleep, therefore, would amount to torture, which is now accepted as a violation of human right.”

The residents had approached the district administration with a memorandum last week. Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal (UPUVPM), a traders’ union that is considered to be close to Samajwadi Party, also came out in support of the residents and filed a complaint with the ADM.

“Whether it is a temple or a mosque, no religion allows bothering others. My father is a heart patient who underwent an open heart surgery just last year. He and my 73-year-old mother have not slept peacefully for days. There are infants in every house,” UPUVPM district president Shobhit Saxena said.

Saxena added that seven Muslim neighbours were among the complainants as well. “They said Ramzan is about helping others, not causing distress,” he said.

Following the complaint, Asif Beg, one of the complainants, was allegedly targeted by some people. “They stopped me near the mosque when I was on my way home in the evening and told me that I would go to hell as I had complained against the mosque loudspeakers. They even assaulted me and escaped from the scene,” Beg said.

Bareilly’s deputy shahr qazi Maulana Shahabbudin Rizvi said he agreed with the complainants. “It’s wrong to use loudspeakers persistently to wake up people for sehri. Ideally, there should be just one wake-up call within permissible decibel levels. Some clerics are using recorded voices and playing them to bother others, which is against the spirit of Ramzan.”

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