Hanuman Chalisa, Suprabhata, Omkara and other devotional tunes at temples drowned the sound of the 5 am Azaan at mosques in various parts of Karnataka under a campaign that Hindu groups, chiefly the Sri Rama Sene, launched on Monday.
This happened in temples in Bengaluru, Hubballi, Belagavi, Mysuru, Chikkamagaluru, Yadgir, Mandya and Kolar among other places.
In some locations, the police even detained Hindu activists to prevent the situation from going out of hand.
“For the last one year, we have been flagging issues caused by the use of loudspeakers and the disturbance to students and patients. We even told the Muslims, but nothing changed and no action was taken apart from issuing notices,” Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik after flagging off the campaign at the Anjaneya temple in Mysuru.
“Even today mosques have not stopped playing loudspeakers at 5 am,” he said.
Muthalik claimed that the sound of Azaan during the day is not in accordance with permissible limits.
“If no action is taken, we will file a contempt petition in the High Court as it violates Supreme Court orders,” Muthalik said.
“This is India, not the Taliban or Pakistan. There’s a Constitution and rule of law here,” he said, adding that mosques are violating orders that restrict the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am. The anti-Azaan campaign took place at 16 locations of Gadag district.
In Belagavi, the Sri Rama Sene activists chanted the Hanuman Chalisa using a public address system with high volume from the Sonya Maruti temple.
In Hubballi, the activists launched their campaign at a Hanuman temple, which was damaged in a recent bout of violence, alongside other temples. A 20-member team divided into two groups started bhajans at 5 am.
The police took Sri Rama Sene activists into custody near the Jagat Circle in Kalaburagi as they were taking out a procession playing bhajans from a Hanuman temple.
Meanwhile, a group of Dalit activists and the police cordoned off a mosque located near a supermarket here.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said strict action will be taken in accordance with the court orders to control noise pollution.
“Everyone should abide by the court orders,” he said in a statement, warning action against people taking law into their hands.