M A I N   N E W S

Omar tweets in support of all-girl Valley rock band
Azhar Qadri
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 2
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today expressed solidarity with the region’s only all-girl rock band, a day after it surfaced that the teenage girls have decided to shut their band after facing online hate buzz.

“I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.

The Chief Minister said police will examine the “threats” issued against the girls, which has forced them to shut the band and go “underground”.

“The police will examine the threats and see whether any provision of law can be used to book those making the threats,” Omar said as the announcement of the girls to disband their band evoked a mixed online response.

One member of the band “Pragaash”, a Kashmiri word meaning “from darkness to light”, had told The Tribune yesterday that they had decided to close the band after facing a vile barrage of abuses and hate messages on the Internet.

Omar slammed those abusing the band, saying the girls have the right to “choose to sing”.

“Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing,” the CM said.

A 16-year-old girl, a band member, confirmed: “We have closed the rock band. It just ended. We had to hear so much from society. That is why? I don’t want to tell anyone the reason,” she said.

The girl’s mother said her daughter quit the band after she read abusive comments on the social networking website which targeted the girls and their families.

Another member of the band said they were lying low for sometime.





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