Nahid Afrin
 Nahid Afrin. Pic/YouTube

Forty-six Muslim clerics in Assam have issued a fatwa against singer Nahid Afrin, asking her to stop performing in public. Afrin was the first runner-up in the 2015 season of the popular musical reality TV show Indian Idol Junior.

According to a report in Times of India, cops are probing whether the fatwa was a reaction to Nahid performing songs against terrorism. "We are looking at this angle as well," ADG (special branch) Pallab Bhattacharya told the paper.

The report added that leaflets with the fatwa in Assamese as well as the names of clerics were distributed in central Assam on Tuesday. The fatwa stated that a March 25 programme at Udali Sonai Bibi College in Assam, where Nahid 16 is scheduled to perform is "against the Sharia".

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"If anti-Sharia acts like musical nights are held on grounds surrounded by masjids, idgahs, madrassas and graveyards, our future generations will attract the wrath of Allah," the fatwa stated

Reacting to the development, the singer told the paper, "I am speechless. I think my music is God's gift to me. I will never bow down to it and never leave singing.”

Her mother was quoted as saying, “The organisers of the musical night told us that the programme on March 25 will not be cancelled." Cops meanwhile assured security cover to Nahid and her family.

Speaking to the media, Afrin said, "I was broken completely after hearing about the 'fatwa'. But I am not going to stop singing. I have received hundreds of calls and messages from the people of Assam and different organisations supporting me."

"Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke to me and told me not to be afraid. He also assured me of security during the scheduled programme at Udali on March 25.

"I am a singer and music is my life. I don't think I can survive without music. Allah has blessed me with this voice for singing, and I'll die if I am not allowed to sing," added Afrin.

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Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday tweeted: "Freedom of artists are essence of democracy. Spoke to Nahid and reiterated our government's commitment to provide safety and security to artists."

Meanwhile, several organisations and individuals in Assam have come out to support the young singer and against the 'fatwa' issued against the singer and said that people of Assam will give security to her.

Nahid made her Bollywood debut singing for Sonakshi Sinha in the 2016 film 'Akira'.

(With IANS inputs)