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CONTROVERSY: Confusion over 'order' regarding ban on Azan in Uttar Pradesh disricts

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LUCKNOW: Confusion persists over 'order' to stop Azan in mosques in certain districts of Uttar Pradesh, even though there is lack of clarity about the directive(s).

The policemen reached mosques in certain districts and said that the 'Azan' or prayer call won't be allowed. Already, prayers are not being held in the mosques, in order to ensure physical distancing during lockdown. 

However, Azaan is sounded to inform the devout that it's prayer time and they can pray at home. It continues throughout the country. Recently, even in Delhi, two policemen who tried to stop Azan, claiming that Lieutenant Governor (LG) had issued an order this regard, were confronted and local Delhi government clarified that there was no such order.

Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh, the pamphlets with a message that 'namaz/azan' would not be allowed appeared at different places including Farrukhabad and Ghazipur. The pamphlet had the text that, 'Under CrPC provisions it has been ordered that during lockdown, there would be no namaz/azan...'

The Indian Express reported that policemen reached a mosque in Ghazipur, with a similar directive but had no written order. It, however, quotes a district SP as saying that there is no order regarding Azan. 'A city magistrate in Farrukhabad said that order was oral and was from DM but DM 'declined to comment', the report further said.

Even more surprising is that the pamphlets suggest as if Azan and Namaz are either same or inter-changeable. Clearly, it has caused lot of confusion, as Azan is simply a call and even issues like use of 'MIC' or loudspeaker have nothing to do with physical distancing. Hope good sense prevails and there is official clarification from the top. [Photo courtesy: Alex Azabache, Pexels]