Girls rock band: Distraught band member flees Valley, rest in hiding after fatwa

A member of Kashmir's first girls rock band has left the Valley for Bangalore after the teenage group was forced to call it quits in the wake of abusive and threatening online posts over which police filed a case today and opposition by a Muslim cleric.

Breaking the three-member group's silence after it was disbanded yesterday, two members of the band said they have given up music as they respect the decree (fatwa) issued by the Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad who termed singing as "un-Islamic".

"Kashmir is not a place for music. If anyone wants to learn music they have to go out," a member of the band which went by the name of 'Pragaash"(light) said in a choked voice.

The Mufti said he was "happy" the rock music group has been disbanded by the girls.

"I am happy they have quit. I congratulate them, their parents and all those people who supported my fatwa..., he said.

Although the whereabouts of the girls were kept a secret by the family after the controversy broke out, it has emerged that one of the three girls has gone to Bangalore amid reports she has left the Valley to help her recover from depression.

The other two girls remained in the Valley.

An official associated with the investigations said police were able to identify at least six Facebook users who had posted hate messages on the page of the rock band with the help of experts from the cyber crime cell.

"A case under Section 66 A of the IT Act and Section 506 RPC (Criminal Intimidation) has been registered in police station Rajbagh with regard to the hate messages posted on the Facebook page of the Pragaash band," a Jammu and Kashmir police spokesman said.

He said the investigations are in full swing but refused to give any details.

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