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Omar backs all-girls Kashmiri rock band facing online threats

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 12:06 hrs
Omar assures panchayat members' safety

Srinagar: Coming out in support of Kashmir's only all-girls rock band which faced online threats, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today promised a police probe and hoped that the talented teenagers would not let themselves be silenced by a "handful of morons".

The girls, vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir (16), drummer Farah Deeba and Guitarist Aneeka Khalid (both 15), who defied convention to form the rock band "Pragaash" (darkness to light) which came to limelight in December last year, are now faced with a challenge of online threats and abuses.

The Chief Minister said it was a matter of shame that those who demand freedom of speech on social media networks, use it to threaten the girls, who are Class X students.

"The police will examine the threats issued and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making the threats (to the rock band)," Omar said, adding "I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them."

"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," he wrote on Twitter.

Though there are dozens of bands currently playing popular music of different genres in the Valley, but this is the first all-girls rock band and was among the winners after their maiden public appearance.

After their scintillating performance at the annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition here, the girls received online threats and absurd comments, leaving their parents worried and forcing them to keep a low profile.

"There has been a wicked campaign against the girls ever since they made their maiden appearance in public on December 26," said Adnan Matoo, who runs musical academy Band Inn where the girls are undergoing training.

Matoo, who is also the band manager, said the girls cried after seeing the abusive comments online. "I told them such things keep happening in the social media." 






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