Pragaash band member quits J&K, seeks refuge in Bangalore
Srinagar, Feb 6: The passion for music for three young girls in Kashmir valley ended on a sad note. After a fatwa was released against first girl rock band "Pragaash" of the Jammu and Kashmir, the band members decided to quit music to end the controversy.
Now, media reports say, one of the band member has left the Valley for Bangalore to get rid of her depression.
The other two girls are said to be in the Valley. The family kept their whereabouts a secret to avoid any untoward incidents.
However, on Tuesday, Feb 5 one of the band member spoke to news channels and expressed anguish about the controversy surrounding their band.
"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 problems for the girls began after they started receiving abusive and threatening online posts and opposition by a Muslim cleric.
The netizens who threatened the band members have been booked under a controversial section of the Information Technology Act, police informed on Tuesday.
The Grand Mufti who issued a fatwa against the girls 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.
Earlier, Grand Mufti, Bashir-ud-Din, slammed the three-member band for their "indecent behaviour".
"When girls and young women stray from the rightful path... this kind of non-serious activity can become the first step towards our destruction," Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad said in a statement.
The cleric said he has advised the members of the rock band to "abandon" singing as it is against Islamic teachings and will not help them in playing any constructive role in the society.
"Society cannot be built or developed by doing un-Islamic acts like singing. I have advised these girls, and other Muslims as well, to stay within the limits of modesty as prescribed for them," he added. Grand Mufti is the highest official of religious law in a Sunni or Ibadi Muslim country.
The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatwa, on interpretations of Islamic law for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases.
"We just quit (singing and music) only because of the people of Kashmir, as Mufti sahib said it is un-islamic. We did not know that they are unhappy with our music," a band member, with her face blocked out, told TV channels.
The girl said the band decided to quit music after the fatwa was issued by the Grand Mufti. "I'm too little to know if music is un-Islamic.We respect the Mufti sahib who said it is haram. We respect the opinion of people of Kashmir also. That is why we quit," she added.
The girl said the band was disbanded not because of online threats. "It is because people are not happy with us. People of Kashmir are not happy." she added.
National Conference leader and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said it was unfortunate that the girls band was forced to call it quits.