Srinagar: Three youth were arrested on Wednesday night in connection with the online abuses and threats to the all-girls rock band of Kashmir.
Tariq Khan was apprehended from Bijbehara, a town in South Kashmir, and Rameez Shah was arrested from Ganderbal in central Kashmir, police sources said. Later in the night, Irshad Ahmad Chara, resident of S D Colony, Batamaloo, was arrested. The police had been raiding different places to apprehend the third accused.
'Ghazal', the young and refreshing band which is here to perform at a festival organised by ICCR, has a very strong but simple message for the Kashmiri girls -- never give up your passion in the face of opposition.
"We are so sorry to hear (about the Kashmir girls' band Pragaash). We are so happy to perform in India but why can't they," asks Sahar Lotfi, who leads the seven-member troupe formed in 2010.
Lotfi, whose troupe has performed in a number of concerts by propagating the Sufi tradition of their country with jubilation, says women in Iran, a much conservative society when compared to Kashmir, are free to decide what they want to do.
Women in Iran are "very cooperative" and "understanding" when it comes to the fair sex taking up singing, dancing and other activities.
"We are free to perform instrumental and whatever we want to. My family has also been very cooperative," she says.
Sympathising with the young Kashmiri girls, who called it quits on Monday after the Grand Mufti of Kashmir termed their singing un-Islamic, Lofti asked them not to run away in the face of a threat.
"They should go on. They should not stop. They should continue with propagating the message of peace and love. They should go on," she says.
Not only Lotfi, there is also another woman performer who had come from Azerbaijan.
Congress slams ban on girl band
The Congress, meanwhile, criticised the 'fatwa' against the state's all-girl rock band and supported the Jammu and Kashmir government's stand.
"The state government has taken correct steps," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.
Stating that the 'fatwa' against the girls' band was a "serious" issue, Alvi said, "There could be no restrictions on an individual's freedom of expression."
"India is a secular country. There is freedom to preach any religion but it cannot be imposed on anybody," said Alvi.
Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din Ahmed, head of the Muslim clergy in Kashmir, issued a 'fatwa' (religious decree) Sunday asking the parents of the three girls who formed the rock band to impart religious education to their daughters. He labelled the girls' performance as "a shameful act".Kashmir rights group to file suit against Grand Mufti