In a letter to the Prayagraj district magistrate, Sangita Srivastava had complained about how the call to prayers disrupted her sleep.
A mosque near Allahabad University has reduced the volume of its loudspeakers by half after the institution’s Vice Chancellor Sangita Srivastava complained to the Prayagraj district administration about the “loud” azaan, the call to prayers in Islam, disturbing her sleep, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.
The caretaker of Lal Masjid, Kaleem-ur-Rehman, told the newspaper that the mosque committee took immediate steps after the police informed it about the complaint. “The volume of the [sound] system, which was already a decibel less than the norm set by the [Allahabad High] Court, has been further reduced by half,” Rehman said.
The caretaker added that the direction of one loudspeaker was also changed so that it doesn’t face Srivastava’s home.
However, Rehman said that the matter could have been resolved amicably had Srivastava approached the mosque authorities, The Wire reported.
The caretaker told News18 that the mosque committee will speak to Srivastava about the matter soon and she will not face difficulties under any circumstances.
Srivastava had written a letter to the Prayagraj district magistrate on March 3 to complain about the use of loudspeakers by the mosque. “The sleep [gets] so disturbed [that it] does not resume even after trying very hard,” she had said. “This also results in a headache throughout the day, causing losses in working hours.”
Srivastava claimed that she was not against any religion or caste and suggested that the call for prayer be issued without a mic so that other people are not disturbed.
She cited an Allahabad High Court judgement from 2020 that said azaan was an essential part of Islam, but not its recitation through the use of loudspeakers.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali had criticised Srivastava’s letter, saying she should be aware that people in India respected each other’s religion.
The Samajwadi Party also spoke out against the letter. “The BJP peddles hatred to divert attention from unemployment, poor health services, education system, unbridled crime and collapsed business,” the party tweeted. “The letter written by Allahabad University vice chancellor against azaan is part of this. Utterly condemnable!”