Raj Thackeray Says ‘Noise Pollution’ Must Stop in Maharashtra

Noise pollution should end in Maharashtra, MNS chief Raj Thackeray said on Wednesday as his ultimatum to the state government to remove loudspeakers from mosques ended, keeping Maharashtra on the edge.

Speaking to reporters, Raj Thackeray reiterated that the issue was social and there was no intention to create communal unrest. “We are not interested in creating any communal unrest. This noise pollution should end in Maharashtra… We are going to continue until this stops.”

He added: “There are so many illegal mosques, why give permission to them? This issue is not limited to morning Azaan. We are ready to respond if Azaan is played loudly again. A decibel level of 45-55 is fine, what is the need for a loudspeaker? Illegal loudspeakers should be removed.”

On questions of being selective, the MNS chief said the issue wasn’t only about mosques. “There are several temples where illegal loudspeakers are running. I have already made it clear that it’s (illegal loudspeakers) not a religious issue but a social issue.”

He also accused the police of acting against party workers but not those who violated Supreme Court guidelines. “We want peace in the state. What action you’re (police) taking on those 135 mosques that violated SC guidelines today? You (police) are only taking action against our workers.”

Raj Thackeray further said the agitation would continue till loudspeakers were removed from mosques.

The MNS chief had set a deadline till Eid to bring down loudspeakers, leading to a political war of words in the state.

On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to share a video of late Sena founder Bal Thackeray advocating for removal of loudspeakers from mosques. In the video, Bal Thackeray can be seen addressing a huge crowd as he thunders that the day Shiv Sena comes to power, the party will stop Muslims from offering ‘namaaz’ on the roads. Bal Thackeray also says will remove loudspeakers from mosques, adding that acts “which cause hindrance to nation-building” should not be allowed.

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