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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, February 06, 2013
A day after police registered a case against facebook users who posted ‘abusive and threatening’ messages against all-eve music band of Kashmir valley, the hardlined Hurriyat conference on Wednesday came out defending the freedom of expression of those booked.

“Across the world nobody is booked for posting views - good or bad - on social networking sites. Nobody considers these views a threat in democratic countries. But here a small issue was blown out of proportion,” a spokesman of Hurriyat conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said in a statement.

“It simply goes against the freedom of expression which all the leaders of democracy boast to uphold,” he said.

The  spokesman wanted the police to file a case against national conference leader and education minister Mohammad Akbar Lone besides Peoples’ Democratic Party leader Iftikhar Hussain for trading abuses on the floor of house in 2011.

“If hurling abuses is a crime for which a person has to undergo jail then the police chief should also book former assembly speaker( Lone) and opposition leader( Ansari) for trading abuses in front of TV cameras,” the spokesman said.
Police on Tuesday said that a case under Section 66A of the IT Act and Section 506 RPC (Criminal Intimidation) has been registered against those who posted hate messages on the Facebook page of the band called Pragaash.

The comments attracted media frenzy as the verbal war between supporters and critics of public-music-performance forced the class 10 school girls to announce disbanding.

The hard-line separatists felt that the controversy was deliberately created to defame the struggle in Kashmir and take the focus away from the real issues.

“National media did not find the issues, like rape of Shopian women, killing of teenagers in 2010, worth enough to generate a public opinion against the brutalities. Someone posts a good or bad comment but without any harm giving the media a handle to make mountain out of a mole hill,” the spokesman stated.

“They are projecting the issue like that of Malala Yousufzai. The impression is given as if the girls are being hounded,” the statement stressed.