Mumbai Police, which reports to the Mahavikas Aghadi government of Maharashtra, has issued a notice to Karishma Bhosale and her mother for requesting the management of their neighbourhood mosque to reduce the volume of the loudspeaker playing azan, which was disturbing her studies.
Addressed to Karishma’s mother Varsha Ganesh Bhosale, the notice said that Karishma went to the Noori Elahi Sunni Welfare Association’s mosque in the Mankhurd area and asked the mosque management there to reduce the noise of the loudspeaker through which the muezzin was giving a call for prayer.
The notice, when translated from Marathi, reads, “On 24 June 2020, you visited the mosque of the Noori Elahi Sunni Welfare Association and argued with them to reduce the volume of azan on the neighbourhood loudspeakers. It was inappropriate for you to visit the mosque to request them to reduce the sound of azan. Instead of entering the mosque, the complainant should have followed the prescribed law and approached the nearest police station to make a complaint.”
The notice stated that such acts posed a threat to the “law and order situation” in the area. The police directed Karishma and her mother to follow the rules. The police told the media they would register a case against Karishma and her mother under Section 188 and Section 149 and then take necessary action.
According to Karishma Bhosale, who lives in Mankhurd area, the mosque’s loudspeaker is located near her house. She went to the mosque with a request to reduce the volume of the loudspeakers. Far from acceding to the request, she said, people from inside and near the mosque threatened and manhandled Karishma and her mother. When Karishma asked the local MLA for help in this regard, he suggested if she had trouble with the loudspeakers, she should move to a different location.
Karishma Bhosale shared the videos of the incident on Twitter and Instagram.
In one of the videos, a woman wearing a hijab is seen and heard arguing with Karishma, “Even in your temple, bells ring. Have we installed the loudspeaker in someone’s house?”
Karishma replies, “If the bell ring in the temple disturbs you, you should go there and make your point.” The woman in Islamic attire then asks her to leave.
In another video, yet another apparently Muslim woman can be seen mistreating and scrambling with the girl and her mother.
There have been many such cases in the country where people have expressed their discomfort with the sound of azan played on loudspeakers by Muslims. Recently, the Allahabad High Court had said in a judgment that offering a loudspeaker is not a part of Islam.
It is generally observed that the police in different states intervene when asked to stop pujas, bhajans, kirtans, etc as well as Hindu and Sikh wedding celebrations in public places but they do not dare ask Muslims to desist from disturbing people with noise pollution.
Vice-president of BJP’s Maharashtra unit, Kirit Somaiya has come up in support of Karishma Bhosale. After meeting her, the politician posted on Twitter, “Met Karishma Bhosle young dynamic girl, who is fighting for a cause, at her residence PMG Colony Mankhurd Mumbai…”