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'Those who threatened Kashmiri all-girl band won't be spared'

Updated: February 8, 2013, 2:26 AM IST
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'Those who threatened Kashmiri all-girl band won't be spared'
Omar Abdulhah said some of those who had issued threats had left the Valley and police were trying to nab them.

Ajmer: Government will not spare those who issued threats to Kashmiri girl band, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdulhah on Thursday said, but maintained there was no need for legal action against the grand mufti who issued Fatwa terming singing as un-Islamic.

Abdullah, during a visit to dargah of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisiti here, expressed happiness over the arrests made in connection to the online abuse and threats to the all-girl rock band 'Pragaash' and said more arrests were likely.

He said some of those who had issued threats had left the Valley and police were trying to nab them. Referring to grand mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad, through a decree, terming singing as "un-Islamic" and asking the girl band to abandon it, Omar said there was no need to take legal action against him as he has not violated any law.

Omar had earlier posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter that he was glad that the police in Kashmir has identified and arrested those who had issued online threats.

"I'm told more arrests possible," he tweeted.

Three persons have been arrested from Ganderbal, Anantnag and Srinagar districts in J&K for posting threatening and abusive messages on the Facebook page of Pragaash'.

Police have started tracking down the Internet Protocol addresses of the 26 users whose comments, out of the total 900 posts on the band's Facebook page, were found abusive, officials said.

A case has been registered against them under Section 66A of IT Act and Section 506 RPC (criminal intimidation). The band, consisting of base guitarist Aneeqa Khalid, singer Noma Nazir and drummer Farah Deeba, decided to call it quits in view of the grand mufti's decree.

The group had been the target of an online hate campaign ever since it won a "Battle of the Bands" contest in December.

Meanwhile, over 350 Internet users have supported an online petition demanding that the grand mufti steps down following his decree against 'Pragaash'.

"This is in context to your recent fatwa against the all-girl band Pragaash. This is less a fatwa and more a direct, misogynistic threat to silence young girls who have chosen for themselves a career path untrodden by women of Kashmir," the online petition initiated by Obaid Bashir read.

"Mr Grand Mufti you have forgotten that Kashmir has a long tradition of Kashmiriyat and Kashmiriyat is an expression of solidarity and resilience regardless of religious differences...your nefarious and illogical fatwas have caused more harm than they have done any good," the petition read.

It said women in music industry is nothing new in Kashmir. The petition also questioned the cleric's silence over the participation of women in singing and dancing programmes organised by the government.

First Published: February 8, 2013, 2:26 AM IST
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