INDIA. Mumbai: While the debate over the use of loudspeakers in mosques continues in Maharashtra, in nearby Gujarat, one person was killed, and another was seriously injured in a quarrel overplaying bhajan over the loudspeaker.
On Wednesday evening, Jaswant Thakor (42) was slain when opposing group members savagely struck them with sticks, and his brother Ajit was critically injured.
The deceased and his brother were reportedly playing bhajans loudly at Meldoi Mata Mandir in Mudarda village, Jotana Taluka, Mehsana district. Saji Thakor, their next-door neighbor, arrived and chastised them for playing the bhajan loudly over the loudspeaker. Saji allegedly abused the brothers throughout the altercations.
When Jaswant and Ajit objected to Sadaji’s filthy language, the original debate devolved into a high-decibel brawl, and Sadaji summoned more individuals to respond.
Soon after, many people armed with sticks arrived on the scene and brutally attacked Jaswant and Ajit. Jaswant was critically hurt in the brawl. The people took him to a neighbouring hospital, where he was referred to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Jaswant, on the other hand, succumbed to his injuries. Ajit’s left hand was fractured.
Between the two incidents, Ajit’s 10-year-old nephew contacted his mother, who then informed the police and filed a complaint against Sadaji Thakor, Vishnu Thakor, Babuji Thakor, Jayanti Thakor, Jawan Thakor, and Vinu Thakor.
“The Langhnaj police who reached the spot arrested the five accused on murder, rioting, and assault charges. They were produced before the magistrate and were sent to jail custody on Thursday,” a spokesman for the Langhnaj police said.
The arrested accused have been identified as Vishnu Ravaji Thakor, Babuji Chelaji Thakor, Jayanti Ravaji Thakor, Jawanji Chelaji Thakor, and Vinuji Chelaji Thakor.
On May 2, in a similar dispute over loudspeakers, one Bharat Rathod (30) was brutally assaulted in Bawla taluka of Ahmedabad.
However, Mehsana Superintendent of Police Manish Singh told the Transcontinental Times that the event in Mudarda village resulted from personal animosity and could not be linked to the ongoing debate about the use of loudspeakers in places of worship.
He went on to say that family issues had caused previous confrontations in that village.
In other news, a division bench of the Allahabad High Court (Uttar Pradesh) denied a plea on Wednesday seeking permission to use loudspeakers at a mosque again.
The law has now been settled that loudspeakers in the mosque are not a fundamental right, a bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla and Justice Vikas Budhwar observed in the order on Wednesday.
The order came on a petition filed by one Irfan of Badaun district, who had moved the high court after a sub-divisional magistrate rejected his application seeking permission to play loudspeaker/mike in a village mosque at the time of azaan in December last year.