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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Aug 14, 2018:: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to conduct a joint inspection to see if mosques in east Delhi are exceeding decibel levels and contributing to noise pollution, as claimed by a right wing organisation.
The bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, recently directed “the CPCB and the DPCC to conduct a joint inspection on a random basis at intervals to ascertain whether there is violation of law and, if so, take penal action. In terms of legal provisions, CPCB will be the nodal agency.”
The plea was submitted by the Akhand Bharat Morcha (ABM), alleging that illegal use of loudspeakers at mosques in east Delhi was adversely affecting health and peace of local residents. The plea had alleged that activities of some mosques were in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. It added that authorities had not taken any action despite several complaints.
ABM had also claimed that these places of worship were located in silence zones housing schools and hospitals, and noise from loudspeakers surpassed the laid down decibel levels. According to law, the sound level is restricted by 50 dbl at day time and 40 dbl at night time in silence zones. In resident areas, this level is permissible upto 55 dbl at day time and 45 dbl at night time accordingly. “But they (mosques and Muslims) don’t follow any rules to give azan (adhan) from mosque loud speakers,” told Sandeep Ahuja, the present President of ABM.
The Akhand Bharat Morcha was formed in 1998 by Baikunth Lal Sharma (Prem), a former BJP lawmaker from east Delhi. On April 1 this year, a bike rally to mark Hanuman Jayanti was marred by at least four incidents of rifts outside four mosques in east Delhi and Shahdara, with some members of the procession allegedly brandishing swords, lighting firecrackers, throwing colour and planting saffron flags near the religious structures. At the time, Additional DCP (east) Jasmeet Singh had told that the ‘Bajrang Shakti Rally’ had been organised by the organisation for years together.
Delhi Police also said that no arrests had been made in the Hanuman Jayanti case and the matter had been amicably settled by the two communities.
The organisation approached the Deputy Commissioner of Police (east) in a letter on February 2016, but claimed “no action was taken”, the NGT order said. It added that the organisation approached the NGT, which disposed of the case on September 19, 2017, after the Delhi government and DPCC said they “will conduct inspection to check the noise level from different masjids mentioned in the application and if the noise levels are found to be exceeding the prescribed decibel, action would be taken”. Following this, the organisation filed a civil appeal in Supreme Court with the “grievance that the inspection has not been done in spite of order of NGT”. The appeal was disposed of earlier this year, with the observation that the applicant could approach the NGT for compliance of the directions already issued.
“In view of the above, we direct the Deputy Commissioner of Police (east) to take steps for compliance of the order,” said the NGT bench, adding that the compliance report has to be submitted within two months. However, police said they haven’t received any order from the Tribunal yet.
Sandeep Ahuja of Akhand Bharat Morcha told HENB, “Hindus also play loud-speakers for their religious functions and from temples. But, Hindus have to get permission formally. Police chase Hindus, if they don’t take permission formally. But, Muslims in India or the Mosque authorities don’t require any permission to play loud-speakers five times a day offensively to disturb the public. Even we see that many communal clashes are initiated by invoking Muslims through Mosque loud speakers.”
“Law implementation must be equal for all irrespective of religion, class or community. We want uniform civil code in Bharat (India) and religious freedom for Hindus all over India. Hindus can’t worship in many Muslim areas. We don’t believe in Allah, Muhammad and Quran. Then why they (Muslims and Mosques) force us to hear the supremacy of Islam five times a day. Moreover, in many places Mosque mikes disturb the nearby patients of Hospitals and students of Schools. We are not just ready to tolerate such situations any more,” told Rahul Raj Malik, the advocate of ABM to HENB.
__inputs from Agencies.