Facebook Goons Who Threatened Kashmir Band Face Arrest

Facebook Goons Who Threatened Kashmir Band Face Arrest

5 February 2013
Times of India
M. Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir police have identified around two dozen Facebook users and booked them for alleged intimidation and abuse that forced Kashmir's all-girl rock band - 'Pragaash' (light) - to disband on Monday. Chief minister Omar Abdullah had directed the police to act after the band had quit live performances. The three-member band had promised to bounce back with an album amid an outpouring of support, but was forced to quit after a controversial cleric issued an unsolicited 'fatwa' against them on Sunday. The band was formed after the three impressed judges at an annual musical event in Srinagar to encourage young talent. J&K police spokesman Manoj Pandita said the netizens have been booked for criminal intimidation and under the Information Technology Act. Arrests are expected in a couple of days. Earlier, one of the three told a TV channel that she wanted to be left alone even as support for the band continued to grow. Hundreds of Facebook users continued to pledge their support for the band on communities dedicated to their cause. But despite this Adnan Mattoo, who had mentored the three, was said to have disbanded his Bloodrockz band as well. Separately, Jammu-based owner Rockstar band has invited Pragaaah to perform in Jammu.