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Feb 07, 2013 at 09:51am IST

Three arrested for threatening, abusing Kashmir girl band online

Srinagar: Three persons have been arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the alleged online abuses and threats to the all-girls rock band, Pragaash. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "I'm glad the police in Kashmir has identified and arrested people for the online threats made to the girls. I'm told more arrests are possible."

Tariq Khan was apprehended from Bijbehara, a town in South Kashmir, Rameez Shah was arrested from Ganderbal in central Kashmir and Irshad Ahmad Chara was arrested from Batmaloo area of Srinagar, police sources said.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Ashok Prasad, who is closely monitoring the case, has directed stepping up of patrolling in the areas where two of the three girls of the band group reside. Police have started tracking down the Internet Protocol addresses of the 26 users whose comments, out of the total 900 posts on the band's Facebook page, were found abusive, officials said.

They said the delay of three days in lodging the FIR was due to large number of posts on the Facebook page of Kashmir's all-girl band 'Pragaash', that took time to get scanned. A case in the matter has been registered under Section 66A of IT Act and Section 506 RPC (criminal intimidation) in the Rajbagh police station in Srinagar.

A member of the band had on Tuesday said they decided to call it quits as they respected the decree of Kashmir's grand mufti who found singing un-Islamic.

"We respect the Mufti sahib who said it (singing) is 'Haram'. We respect the opinion of people of Kashmir also. That is why we quit," she said adding that the band was not disbanded because of online threats.

The DGP has requested all central agencies to extend support to apprehend all those who had hurled online abuses at the all-girls band.

Meanwhile, the youth of Kashmir have voiced support for the band. "Each person is entitled to his or her freedom. No one must interfere in their lives," said a supporter. "Their parents have given them the freedom to form a band, no one should argue about it," another supporter added. "If they have talent they must be allowed to perform, I do not see why they should be stopped," a youngster said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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