Uttar Pradesh: Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor complains about 'azaan'; says 'can't sleep'

In a yet another religious dispute, the vice-chancellor of prestigious Allahabad University has drawn flak for her complaint over 'noise' from a nearby mosque in the locality she resides. The VC in a letter to the Pryagaraj District had raised the issued, she had submitted the draft two weeks ago. Following her complaint, a prominent Muslim cleric reacting over the complaint has asked for "mutual respect of religious sentiments".

As per a report in NDTV, the letter, titled "Noise Pollution in the Civil Lines, Prayagraj" was written by Vice-Chancellor Sangita Shrivastava on March 3 to Bhanu Chandra Goswami , the topmost government official in the district.

The letter said that the daily 5:30 am call to the 'azaan' prayers from the nearby mosque using a mic disturbs her sleep and that she is unable to sleep after that.

"The sleep so disturbed does not resume even after trying very hard. This also results in a headache, throughout the day, causing losses in working hours," the letter read.

"An old adage says 'your freedom ends where my nose begins' this holds true here. I am not against any religion, caste or creed. They may perform the Azaan without the mike so that others are not disturbed. Even before Eid, they announce Sehri on the mike at 4.00 am. This practice also creates a disturbance to other people. The constitution of India envisages a secular and peaceful co-existence of all communities, which needs to be practiced in letter and spirit," the Vice-Chancellor wrote.

"A letter from the Vice-Chancellor has come to my cognizance, where she has written to the district magistrate about a call for 'Aazaan' that is over a regulated decibel unit and it disturbs her. There are Supreme Court guidelines in place that say noise pollution is not permissible between 10 pm to 6 am and no announcements are permitted using public address systems and if this is happening there should be specific permission else action will be taken. We are studying the letter and will take action to uphold the orders of the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court," Kavindra Pratap Singh , the Deputy Inspector General of Police in Prayagraj told the media.

Her letter has attracted criticism from a prominent Lucknow-based Muslim cleric.

Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board on behalf of the board has condemned the actions taken by the Vice Chancellor. In a statement, he said, ""We condemn the VC's letter in strong terms. She should be aware that our country is known for Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (Ganga-Yamuna culture) and everyone respects each other's religion and that is why 'azaan' from mosques and sounds of 'bhajan kirtan' from temples have not caused disturbance to anyone's sleep. Mosques are already implementing the orders of the honorable High Court in this regard and so I would appeal that everyone should respect the sentiments of each other's religion".

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