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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Muslims defy loudspeaker ban

The Milli Gazette Online

Patna: Muslims demonstrated in front of the Patna High Court on February 4 against the HC directive to stop the use of loudspeakers at a nearby mosque and installed the loudspeaker after it was removed by the police. This invited the ire of Justice RC Garg, who had passed the verdict. He summoned the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police to the court. After reprimanding them, he ordered them to bring the muezzin who called the Friday prayers in the mosque. Complying with the order, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, Rajendra Singh, appeared before the judge along with the muezzin, Alimuddin. Fearing that he was being arrested by the police, an agitated mob which had gathered for Friday prayers at the mosque, reached the Kotwali police station and blocked the road near Dak Bungalow crossing. The mob later demonstrated near the High Court after learning that Alimuddin had been presented before the court.

Senior police officials rushed to the spot and pacified the mob. The situation turned worse when a group reinstalled the loudspeaker at the mosque around 5 pm for evening prayers in the presence of policemen.

The judge Justice Garg distressed at the allegation levelled against him by some members of Muslim community that he was an RSS man, sought his transfer out of Bihar. He held a press conference at his residence soon after the proceedings on the ban on the use of loudspeakers at the mosque adjacent to the high court. He said that his image has been sullied by the vested interests and sought the intervention of the SC to get a posting outside Bihar so that he could continue his work honestly.

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