Se­cu­rity threats to all-girl band


On De­cem­ber 24, Aneeka Khalid, Farah Deeba and Noma Nazir, all Class 10 stu­dents, per­formed in a mu­sic show Bat­tle of Bands at the in­door sta­dium in Srinagar. How­ever, the band – Pra­gaash (to­wards light)— had to quit the band af­ter the grand mufti, Mufti Bashi-u-Din is­sued a fatwa ask­ing them to de­sist from play­ing mu­sic. Be­sides, there were ad­verse com­ments on Face­book and the band felt it was ‘threat­en­ing’.

This cre­ated an up­roar forc­ing the po­lice to reg­is­ter a case un­der Sec­tion 66-A of IT Act and Sec­tion 506 RPC (crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion) in the Ra­jbagh po­lice sta­tion in Srinagar against al­leged on­line abusers who is­sued threats to the girls on the Face­book page.

Even though Jammu and Kash­mir’s Chief Min­is­ter Omar Ab­dul­lah came out in strong sup­port of Pra­gaash and of­fered se­cu­rity to the girls if they wished to pur­sue their mu­sic ca­reer, the trou­bled fam­i­lies of band mem­bers have re­port­edly gone into hid­ing. The fam­ily of one of the band mem­bers said the girls never wanted to pur­sue mu­sic as a full-time ca­reer. The Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party leader Me­hbooba Mufti de­scribed the whole is­sue as “avoid­able, un­nec­es­sary con­tro­versy”.

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