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Kashmir's girl band calls it quits

Posted on Feb 04, 09:28PM | IBNS

Srinagar, Feb 4 : Members of Kashmir's first all-girl rock band 'Pragaash' have decided to call it quits after the Valley's Grand Mufti (head priest) Mufti Bashir-ud-Din issued a fatwa (decree) against them, media reports said on Monday.

The band had earlier decided to stop live performances for sometime after receiving threats and criticisms on social networking sites.

"Yes, I issued the fatwa...They can sing inside their homes. They should not sing in public," Mufti Bashir-ud-Din told media.

The band, however, received support from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who said the girls should not allow '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," Omar tweeted.

"The police will examine the threats issued and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making the threats#Pragaash," he said.

"I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them #Pragaash," Omar said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj appreciated Omar for supporting the band.

"I appreciate Omar Abdullah for taking a tough stand on the matter so far," Punj told media.

The girls also received support from netizens who created a page on popular social networking site Facebook named: 'I support Pragaash, Kashmir's first all-girls' rock band'.

Formed in 2012, the three-member band is comprised of Noma Nazir, Farah Deeba and Aneeqa Khalid.

The band members received warnings, including rape threats, following their first live performance at Srinagar in December.