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Kashmiri girl band disband amid death threats

  • by AIJAZ HUSSAIN
 

The first all-girl rock band in Indian-controlled Kashmir is to disband after only one concert because of threats to its teenage members and a fatwa from a leading Muslim cleric.

THE first all-girl rock band in Indian-controlled Kashmir is to disband after only one concert because of threats to its teenage members and a fatwa from a leading Muslim cleric.

Pragaash was made up of drummer Farah Deeba, bassist Aneeqa Khalid and singer/guitarist Noma Nazir. Their teacher and manager Adnan Mattoo said they would not discuss why they disbanded.

“They feel terribly scared and want an immediate end to this controversy once for all,” Mr Mattoo said.

He said they had decided to quit live performances after an online hate campaign. On Sunday state-sponsored cleric, Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad issued a fatwa (religious edict) ordering the girls to “stop from these activities and not to get influenced by the support of political leadership”.

Pragaash performed in public for the first time in December in Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir. It won third place in a “Battle of the Bands” rock show organised by an Indian paramilitary force as part of a campaign “to win hearts and minds in the region”.

 
 
 

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