Police identify online abusers of J&K's girls rock band

Following a FIR, police began search for the miscreants who threatened the valley's only all-girls rock band.

SRINAGAR: Amid reports of the all girls band disbanding following threats from self styled moral brigades in the valley, the Jammu & Kashmir police have identified most of the online abusers that threatened the band, a NDTV report says.

Following a FIR filed in the Rajbagh Police Station, the authorities began search for the miscreants who threatened the valley's only all-girls Rock band, 'Pragaash'.

According to sources, the girl band yielded under pressure after a fatwa was issued by Grand Mufti who earlier said that it is "un-Islamic" in nature for girls to perform and called upon women to wear a veil at all times.

Late Sunday evening, Kashmir's Grand Mufti (head priest) Mufti Bashiruddin had issued a 'fatwa' (religious decree) against the singing of the girls, and criticised the government for "trying to encourage a shameless act".

The band's name 'Pragaash' - which means moving towards light - began their journey last year when  school girls Noma Nazir, Farah Deeba and Aneeka Khalid took the bold step to perform in December last year - a first on-stage performance by any girl band in the valley.

However the pressure exerted by the hard-liners in the past few days forced the girl band to quit.

"Noma quits", "Farah quits also" -- the two messages were posted by two of Kashmir's first three-girl rock band, Praagaash (from darkness to light), on Monday on a Facebook page created enthusiastically after it performed first time in December last year.

Support for the girls band

Despite the fatwa, the band received overwhelming support in the valley with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah saying that the police would examine the threats and whether any provision of the law could be used to book those who had made the threats.

Encouraging the girls to carry on with their music, Abdullah said  their talent should not be stymied by a handful of morons who are trying to silence them.

Even the National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma backed the girl band saying that there is no need to impose a ban on the all-girls rock band of Kashmir.

Right-wing politicians too expressed shock over the prssure tactics  by he hard-liners to pressure the girl band to quit.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President Najma Heptulla also spoke in support of this band, and said that such restrictions under the banner of religion are not correct.

"I think this is not justice for religion. If you don't like the songs, then you should not listen to them, but to cite religion as an excuse to restrict them from singing is just wrong," she said.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jay Panda complimented Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for supporting this band.

"I think nobody has the right to stop other people from expressing themselves by their music or other cultural activities and I was happy to note that the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir himself, Omar Abdullah, has spoken up in support of this band. So, I think that is the view that should prevail," he said. (With inputs from the Agencies)

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