Panaji: City Municipal Commissioner bans loudspeakers at burial grounds

Panaji: Recital of prayers over loudspeakers at one of the largest Muslim burial grounds here banned by the city municipal corporation, it was revealed on Wednesday. The order drew protests from the Muslim community have demanded that the measure be withdrawn.

Panaji Corporation Commissioner Ajit Roy, in an order issued here earlier this week, has said that the order was passed in order to prevent breach of peace and tranquility in nearby areas.

“It has been brought to the notice from surrounding area at St. Inez, Panaji, that the prayers are carried out through loudspeakers/public address system with very high decibels at the burial ground of Muslim(s) kabrasthan (graveyard) at St. Inez,” said the order dated November 24, when city was playing host to the 48th International Film Festival of India, the country’s biggest film event.

“The community should ensure that no prayers to be held on Muslim burial ground/kabrastan by loud speakers/public address systems so as to avoid disturbing the public peace and tranquility in the surrounding area,” the order further reads.

In a statement issued here, the Jamat ul Muslamin Gausia Sunni trust condemned the order.

“Prayers are carried out at the masjid and not at the burial ground. This is now a tradition going on for the last 20 years… This move has really hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and the Corporation should immediately withdraw the notice or the community will gherao the Commissioner,” trust spokesperson Babni Shaikh told reporters here.