Aurangabad: Amid the ongoing tensions between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) over the ban of loudspeakers in the state, a Police Sub Inspector (PSI) serving with the railway protection police has been booked for allegedly playing songs on loudspeaker during Azaan in Aurangabad’s Satara district. The officer, identified as Gadappa Mulkunaik, has been booked under sections 37 (1) and 3 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.
The officer has been booked on charges of causing enmity between two social groups.
According to police, Gadappa’s house is in Satara and is located adjacent to a mosque. The PSI allegedly played songs and music at high decibels at the time of Azaan (Muslim prayers), which miffed the nearby residents of the area.
Locals of the nearby area called the police control room to complain about Gadappa setting up a loudspeaker in the direction of a religious place and playing songs when people were offering prayers, following which PSI of Satara police station reached the spot and launched a probe. When the police reached the spot, Gadappa was found playing songs at high decibels on a loudspeaker.
The incident took place when members from Muslim community had gathered to offer prayers at the mosque behind the house where the PSI stays.
Police swung into action and immediately launched an investigation, saying that the actions of the PSI could trigger communal tensions between two groups, thus worsening the law and order situation in the area.
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Satara Commissioner, Dr Nikhil Gupta, took cognisance of the matter and instructed the police personnel to lodge a complaint against the accused under the provisions of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.
A few days ago, the Commissioner had warned people of strict action against those who attempt to disrupt communal peace and harmony in the area.
He said, “Our policy is very clear and if anyone tries to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the city, it will not be spared. Strict action will be taken irrespective of caste, religion or creed.”
For the unversed, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had sought that all loudspeakers in mosques be either silenced or dismantled by May 3. MNS had warned that if this did not happen, they would play Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques, triggering a war of words with the Shiv Sena-led MVA government.