Kashmir girl band breaks up after threats

SRINAGAR, India — The first all-girl rock band in Indian-controlled Kashmir has decided to disband after only one concert because of threats its teenage members received on social media and a demand from a top Muslim cleric that they stop performing.

The fate of Pragaash, which means ‘‘First Light’’ in Kashmiri, highlights the tension between modernity and tradition in Muslim-majority Kashmir. Separatists criticized the band for ‘‘Western-style cultural waywardness.’’

Adnan Mattoo, the group’s music teacher, said the students would not talk about the decision.


‘‘They feel terribly scared,’’ Mattoo said. ‘‘First, the girls had decided to quit live performance due to an online hate campaign and concentrate on making an album. But after an edict by the government’s own cleric, these girls are saying goodbye to music.’’

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Pragaash performed in public in December in Srinagar. It won third place in an annual ‘‘Battle of the Bands’’ rock show n.

Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad, Kashmir’s state-sponsored cleric, issued a fatwa Sunday ordering the girls to stop.

Associated Press