More than 45,000 illegal loudspeakers have been removed and volume of around 59,000 has been adjusted to be within set limits across Uttar pradesh this week.
UP’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar told PTI that a total of 45,733 loudspeakers were removed and the volume of 58,861 others was lowered to be within permissible limits.
Varanasi, Meerut, and Kanpur police zones have seen the most numbers of loudspeakers being acted upon, according to earlier reports.
Orders for the removal of loudspeakers and the adjustment of their volumes were issued last week and district administrations were asked to file compliance reports by April 30. The statewide drive on loudspeakers at religious places began on April 25.
Legal basis for action on loudspeakers
The ongoing drive to remove loudspeakers is rooted in two UP government orders issued in 2018 and a UP High Court order issued in 2017.
On 23 April, the UP government directed all divisional commissioners, police commissioners, district magistrates, and police superintendents to ensure that the order passed by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on 20 December 2017 and UP government orders issued on January 4 2018 and March 10 2018 regarding Noise Pollution Rules 2000 are strictly enforced.
The HC order in the case Moti Lal Yadav Vs State of UP directed the state's principal secretary (home) and chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to file separate affidavits on steps taken to ensure enforceability of Noise Pollution Rules 2000 and whether loudspeakers were installed at religious places after obtaining requisite permission and, if not, what action has been taken to remove them, according to a report in The Indian Express.
The April 23 order noted that religious places are violating the decibel norms and are using loudspeakers in large numbers. It directed their removal after dialogue and coordination with religious leaders.
In a video shared on Twitter on Friday, UP ADG (L&O) Prashant Kumar, quoted earlier in the story, said that around 33,000 religious leaders had been consulted in the ongoing drive regarding loudspeakers at religous places in the state.
ADG LO UP Sri Prashant Kumar’s byte regarding police arrangements for Alvida Namaz in the state & removal of loudspeakers. pic.twitter.com/ILlVF0XKjg— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) April 29, 2022
Directives also issued regarding law and order situation
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had issued directives that no religious procession will be carried out without permission. The directive came within days of violence in other states on Hanuman Jayanti, including in Delhi where stones were pelted on a procession in Jahangirpuri area that led to clashes between two communities.
The state authorities, meanwhile, also spoke to religious heads for maintaining law and order during the upcoming Eid festivities, as per PTI.
A total of 46 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary, seven companies of Central Armed Police Force, 1,492 police recruits have been deployed across the state to ensure law and order, as per officials cited by PTI.
(With PTI inputs)