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Tripura governor creates controversy, compares Azaan with firecracker noise

Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has triggered a fresh controversy with his remarks on social media by drawing a parallel between Azaan (call to prayers in a mosque) with the noise of firecrackers.

Questioning those who complain of noise pollution due to firecrackers during Diwali, Roy on Tuesday tweeted, “Every Diwali, fights start over noise pollution from crackers. Crackers that are burst only a few days in a year. But no fight about azaan over loudspeakers at 4.30 AM!”

“Actually this silence of the ‘secular’ crowd over noise pollution by Azaan perplexes me. Loudspeakers are not prescribed in Quran or any Haadis”, the veteran BJP leader went on to say.

Roy’s comments come at a time when the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has imposed restrictions on the bursting of firecrackers from 10 pm on the day of Diwali to 6 am the next morning.

Ever since the Supreme Court banned firecrackers in Delhi, Roy has vehemently opposed any restrictions on such Hindu festivals.

In a veiled attack on the court ruling, Roy had then said, “Not just firecrackers, someday the “award wapsi” brigade may even call for a ban on Hindu cremations on the pretext of air pollution”, Roy tweeted on Tuesday.

Later he clarified that as a practising Hindu, he was unhappy with the Supreme Court ruling as it deprived the community of an important aspect of celebrations.

Known for his hardline stance on several issues, the Tripura Governor had also courted controversy by terming Rohingya refugees “garbage”.

“Neither any Islamic country nor Bangladesh accepts Rohingiyas. But India, the great Dharamshala, must. And if u say no, you’re inhuman!” Roy had tweeted.

Meanwhile, dozens of shops were found selling firecrackers in Delhi on Tuesday as police moved to ensure strict implementation of a Supreme Court order banning the sale and purchase of crackers in the capital due to pollution concerns around Diwali.

No firecracker shop in the capital would be allowed to open till October 31. Dozens were forced to shut on Tuesday, Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma said.

“We are following the apex court guidelines against shopkeepers found selling firecrackers and are also taking action as per the law. The police is on tight vigil to ensure that no one violates the court guidelines,” Verma told.

He said action had been against shopkeepers who were caught selling crackers.

“Five such shopkeepers were caught from Sadar Bazar and Lahori Gate areas. Dozens of others were found (selling firecrackers) in New Delhi district areas during surprise checks. All SHOs have been directed to ensure that no one sells firecrackers.”

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Chinmoy Biswal said details from all SHOs were being collected to ascertain how many shops were found violating the court order and “action will be taken against the violators”.

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