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Fatwa on Nahid draws flak

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, March 15 - The reported �fatwa� purportedly issued by a group of Muslim clerics against singer Nahid Afrin, who shot to fame after her successful stint in the television singing reality show �Indian Idol Junior� in 2015, asking the singer to stop performing in public, has triggered sharp reactions in the State and across the country.

Leaflets bearing the �fatwa� in Assamese and the names of the clerics were distributed across Hojai and Nagaon districts yesterday underlining that the March 25 programme at Lanka, where Nahid is scheduled to perform, is �against the Sharia�.

Different organisations and individuals were unanimous in condemning the act with the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also throwing his weight behind the promising singer from Biswanath Chariali.

Sonowal in his tweet said: �Freedom of artists are essence of democracy. Spoke to Nahid and reiterated our Govt�s commitment to provide safety and security to artists. We strongly condemn putting restrictions on performance by young talented singer Nahid Afrin by some organizations.�

Among other celebrities, who joined the bandwagon in criticising the �fatwa� against Nahid were actor and MP Paresh Rawal and celebrated writer Taslima Nasreen.

�After getting fatwa from 46 mullahs in Assam, 16 yrs old Nahid Afrin said she�ll never bow down and will never leave singing. Bravo girl!� twitted Taslima Nasreen.

Nahid, who made her Bollywood debut with her song in the Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Akira, while reacting to the development told media persons that she was saddened by such a call but will continue to perform.

Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay, when contacted, said that the matter is being investigated from all angles and it will be ensured that the democratic rights of the citizen are not curtailed in any manner.

�I have spoken to the superintendent of police concerned and the individuals whose names featured in the pamphlets have denied their involvement in the act. It could also be some kind of mischief. However, steps have been taken to ensure safety and security of the singer and her family members,� he said.

�As far as the function is concerned, there should not be any issue provided the laid down security norms are fulfilled. We are closely assessing the situation,� Sahay added.

Describing the development as a �dangerous signal�, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said it proves that fundamentalist forces are growing in the State and creating an atmosphere of mistrust and conflict. �We condemn such acts and the government should deal with the responsible forces firmly,� he said.

Special Correspondent from New Delhi adds: Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen expressing her support to the Assamese singer said �Mullahs should be punished for issuing fatwas. They don�t believe in human rights, women�s rights.� She also wondered as to why the clerics have been allowed to go unpunished despite openly threatening someone.

�Recently some Hindu fanatics were arrested for issuing threat on someone, why aren�t Muslim fanatics arrested? Five mullahs issued a fatwa against me and even personally attacked me... Why aren�t Muslim fanatics getting arrested in India, they should be punished,� she added.

Meanwhile, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal evaded the Assam-based media. This newspaper tried his number several times, but all the calls went unanswered. His office, when contacted, said that he was not available.

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Fatwa on Nahid draws flak

GUWAHATI, March 15 - The reported �fatwa� purportedly issued by a group of Muslim clerics against singer Nahid Afrin, who shot to fame after her successful stint in the television singing reality show �Indian Idol Junior� in 2015, asking the singer to stop performing in public, has triggered sharp reactions in the State and across the country.

Leaflets bearing the �fatwa� in Assamese and the names of the clerics were distributed across Hojai and Nagaon districts yesterday underlining that the March 25 programme at Lanka, where Nahid is scheduled to perform, is �against the Sharia�.

Different organisations and individuals were unanimous in condemning the act with the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also throwing his weight behind the promising singer from Biswanath Chariali.

Sonowal in his tweet said: �Freedom of artists are essence of democracy. Spoke to Nahid and reiterated our Govt�s commitment to provide safety and security to artists. We strongly condemn putting restrictions on performance by young talented singer Nahid Afrin by some organizations.�

Among other celebrities, who joined the bandwagon in criticising the �fatwa� against Nahid were actor and MP Paresh Rawal and celebrated writer Taslima Nasreen.

�After getting fatwa from 46 mullahs in Assam, 16 yrs old Nahid Afrin said she�ll never bow down and will never leave singing. Bravo girl!� twitted Taslima Nasreen.

Nahid, who made her Bollywood debut with her song in the Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Akira, while reacting to the development told media persons that she was saddened by such a call but will continue to perform.

Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay, when contacted, said that the matter is being investigated from all angles and it will be ensured that the democratic rights of the citizen are not curtailed in any manner.

�I have spoken to the superintendent of police concerned and the individuals whose names featured in the pamphlets have denied their involvement in the act. It could also be some kind of mischief. However, steps have been taken to ensure safety and security of the singer and her family members,� he said.

�As far as the function is concerned, there should not be any issue provided the laid down security norms are fulfilled. We are closely assessing the situation,� Sahay added.

Describing the development as a �dangerous signal�, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said it proves that fundamentalist forces are growing in the State and creating an atmosphere of mistrust and conflict. �We condemn such acts and the government should deal with the responsible forces firmly,� he said.

Special Correspondent from New Delhi adds: Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen expressing her support to the Assamese singer said �Mullahs should be punished for issuing fatwas. They don�t believe in human rights, women�s rights.� She also wondered as to why the clerics have been allowed to go unpunished despite openly threatening someone.

�Recently some Hindu fanatics were arrested for issuing threat on someone, why aren�t Muslim fanatics arrested? Five mullahs issued a fatwa against me and even personally attacked me... Why aren�t Muslim fanatics getting arrested in India, they should be punished,� she added.

Meanwhile, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal evaded the Assam-based media. This newspaper tried his number several times, but all the calls went unanswered. His office, when contacted, said that he was not available.