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Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor triggers row after complaining against ‘loud’ azaan from mosque

Sangita Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, University of Allahabad. Photo: allduniv.ac.in

Sangita Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, University of Allahabad. Photo: allduniv.ac.in

Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University Sangita Srivastava has triggered a controversy after she allegedly complained to the district administration in Prayagraj about “disturbance” caused to her by the call for azaan from a mosque near her residence every morning.

A copy of the letter dated March 3 was widely shared on social media, though it could not be independently verified from the V-C.

In the letter, Ms. Srivastava writes to District Magistrate (DM) Bhanu Pratap Goswami saying that every day at about 5.30 a.m., her sleep was “disturbed due to loud azaan ” from the “mike” by the maulvi of a mosque nearby.

“The sleep so disturbed does not resume even after trying very hard. This also results in a headache through the day, causing loss of work hours,” she wrote.

Ms. Srivastava appealed to the DM to provide a “quick response” to “restore some peace and tranquillity in the minds of all those suffering” from the loud azaan .

She, however, clarified that she was not against any religion, caste or creed.

“They may perform the azaan without the mike so that others are not disturbed,” Ms. Srivastava added.

Ms. Srivastava referred to a 2020 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that allows azaan in mosques but without amplifiers or loudspeakers.

In her letter, she also raised her objection to the announcement for sehri (meal consumed in the morning by Muslims during Ramzan). This practice is also a disturbance for other people, she claimed.

Ms. Srivastava could not be contacted. Her Officer on Special Duty Nikhil Anand said the V-C was “busy in a family function.”

Mr. Anand acknowledged that a letter was widely circulated and did not deny its contents. He added there was no response to the letter from the administration so far.

Prayagraj IG Kavindra Pratap Singh confirmed that the letter had come to his notice, and said the orders of the courts would be followed regarding the permissible sound levels. "We are studying the matter and will probe it," he said.

Mr. Singh said there were guidelines of the Supreme Court and High Court that from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., there should be no noise pollution and that no public announcement systems be used and if this was happening there should be specific permission for it.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Qaleem, the caretaker of the mosque, said they had permission for the loudspeaker for the azaan but after police pointed out to him that the sound level was high they lowered the volume. “In the morning because there is so much quiet and peace, it may sound louder,” he said. If anyone has any further complaints “we will lower it further in the morning so that it can't be heard beyond 50-100 metres,” he told media.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2022 11:18:38 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/allahabad-university-v-c-triggers-row-after-complaining-against-loud-azaan-from-mosque/article34089928.ece