A police personnel makes an announcement on a loudspeaker in West Bengal on November 10, 2019.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
A police personnel makes an announcement on a loudspeaker in West Bengal on November 10, 2019.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)

Order to remove loudspeaker from temple: BJP says ‘shameful appeasement’, Congress counters

Hindustan Times, Bhopal | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2020 10:43 AM IST

A sub-divisional magistrate’s (SDM) order to a temple management in Sehore district to remove loudspeakers has led to a political row at the state level with Opposition BJP accusing the Congress government of practising appeasement politics in favour of a particular community. The charge has been dubbed baseless by Congress.

On Tuesday, Hindu Utsav Samiti and BJP workers took out a procession at Ashta town in Sehore district alleging that SDM Anju Vishwakarma asked the management committee of an old Lord Shiva temple on Monday to remove the loudspeakers to avoid facing a legal action.

The SDM referred to an order issued by the state government to ensure compliance of Madhya Pradesh Kolahal Niyantran Adhiniyam, 1985.

The order dated January 9, 2020 issued by principal secretary Home SN Mishra, directed all the district collectors and superintendents of police across the state to ensure strict compliance and also ensure strict ban on use of loudspeakers as per the Supreme Court’s judgments from 10 pm to 6 am.

Firing a salvo on the state government, BJP national vice-president and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sought to know from the state government on Tuesday if the loudspeakers from other religious places too would be removed.

“It’s a shameful appeasement… in the eyes of the head of the state all religions should be equal,” he commented.

Congress countered the charge with the party’s media in-charge Shobha Oza saying, “Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s statement is an attempt to whip up religious feelings of people in a bid to appease the BJP’s top leadership and the RSS. The fact is the order issued by the state government has not mentioned any religion in it. It’s an order issued in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment.”

State BJP media in-charge Lokendra Parashar tweeted, “If there is an act to control the noise it can’t be applicable only to temples. This is height of appeasement. No loudspeaker will be removed from either temple at Ashta or any other temple in the state.”

Meanwhile, a video went viral on social media which claimed that the state government had ordered removal of loudspeakers from the famous Mahakal temple in Ujjain prompting temple administration to lodge an FIR on Tuesday against “rumour-mongers”.

Mahakal temple is one of the most prominent temples in the country which draws lakhs of devouts every year.

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