Pragash Band, an all girls rock band from Kashmir have decided to stop singing, after receiving a string of death and rape threats on their social media pages, as well as on their mobile phones.
The all-girls band, which came to limelight in late December last year after their performance at the annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition, had defied the convention by stepping into the male-dominated field of music.
They since received abusive and hate messages on their Facebook page, including from extremists who said the teenage girls should be raped and then drowned. The message read, "Post this status in advance. The three band girls raped in Jammu and thrown in river."'
The Times of India quoted Adnan Mattoo, owner of Band Inn, a musical academy where the girls trained, as saying that their talent is 'astonishing'.
'They are just 15 and too young to face such abuse. They are hurt. They cried, but I tried to convince them to continue", he told the newspaper.
The girls troubles were only compounded after the Grandmufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashiruddin Ahmad termed singing as "un-Islamic" and asked them to abandon it.
The Grandmufti issued a decree, terming singing as un-Islamic.
"I have said that singing is not in accordance with Islamic teachings," Ahmad told PTI.
The cleric said he advised the members of Pragash 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.
However, support has been pouring in from all corners on social networking sites for the band and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also backed them.
Omar came out in support of the girls yesterday saying police will probe the threats.
"I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them," he said.
With inputs from PTI