J-K Police files FIR against abusers of all-girls rock band

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 05, 2013 06:32 hrs

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police has filed a first information report against all those who abused the valley's all-girls rock band online.

The police have filed an FIR in the Rajbagh Police Station and have begun a search for those who have attacked the girls online.

Sources reveal that most of them have been identified and that they could also be arrested in connection with this untoward incident.

A fatwa had also been issued against these girls, who have received death threats and hate mail on their Facebook page.

Kashmir's Grand Mufti has condemned the rock band and issued a fatwa against them, saying music is bad for the society and women must be under a veil at all times.

According to certain media reports, the girls have now disbanded this band.

Support has poured in for the Kashmir Valley's first all-girl rock band Pragaash', who have now stopped live shows following threats and criticism on social networking sites, from all sections of the society, including National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma.

Asserting that there should be no difference on the basis of gender, Sharma yesterday said there is no need to impose a ban on the all-girls rock band of Kashmir.

"This is absolutely wrong. Every individual has his own mindset, traditions and customs, but I believe that if we stop these girls from doing something so many years after independence then it reflects our dual attitude," Sharma told the media in Bhopal.

"On one hand we say that there should be no difference on the basis of sex and on the other hand we impose restrictions on the girls. So, I believe that this absolutely incorrect," she added.

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.

Abdullah has backed this band, and said it is a shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing.

The members of the all-girl band have been receiving warnings, even rape threats, on the social media ever since they first performed in Srinagar two months ago. This band has received abusive and hate messages on their Facebook page for defying convention by choosing the field of music.

Farah Deeba, Aneka Khalid and Noma Nazir started receiving the threats soon after Pragaash's first live performance, at Srinagar's Battle of the Bands, an annual music festival, in December last year.

The criticisms have hit the morale of these young girls. 16-year-old Nazir is the vocalist and guitarist, while Khalid is the bass guitarist and Deeba is the drummer. Both Khalid and Deeba are 15 years old.

The band Pragaash, which means from darkness to light, was formed last year. (ANI)

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