Braid-cutting: Protests, clashes intensify

Fresh braid cutting incidents triggered protests and clashes in several parts of Kashmir on Wednesday.
Braid-cutting: Protests, clashes intensify
Photo: Mir Wasim/GK

Fresh braid cutting incidents triggered protests and clashes in several parts of Kashmir on Wednesday.

Clashes erupted in Mehjoor Nagar here after the braid of a woman was cut by unidentified miscreants, said a local Farooq Ahmed Dar.

He said the incident created panic in the area. Youth took to the streets and clashed with government forces. Protests and clashes led to the area observing a shutdown.

"Forces resorted to aerial firing and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protesters, who retaliated with stones, triggering clashes which continued for many hours," Dar said.

Protest erupted in Chattabal area here against an overnight braid cutting incident. Large number of women took to the streets and raised anti-government and anti-police slogans, a local Nadeem Ahmed said.

He said, "A miscreant barged into the secluded house of Bilal Ahmed Gojri. The miscreant attacked Gojri's wife but he confronted them. He lost balance and fell down on the ground. He suffered injuries and is unable to move," Ahmed said.

The protesters mostly women amid slogans castigated government for failing to protect the honour and dignity of women folk.

Panic gripped in Dandarkhah area of Batamalloo when the braid of a woman was chopped off. Reports said that people found the victim unconscious with her braid cut and she was immediately rushed to SMHS hospital for treatment, a local Ghulam Muhammad said.

Police lobbed tear-smoke shells to disperse scores of protesters at Lasjan by-pass after a braid chopping incident in the area. Locals said that miscreants chopped off the braid of a woman at Golapora Lasjan.

Baramulla:

Three army men were allegedly thrashed by locals in Sheeri area of Baramulla after being accused of being braid choppers, a witness said.

He said three army men in plain clothes were questioned by locals after they were found "moving suspiciously". "They were thrashed by the locals after checking their identity cards," the witness added.

A police official said, "Miscreants thrashed the trio before they were rescued." He said that an FIR has been registered and investigation taken up.

A police spokesman  said, "Three army men while travelling in a passenger bus were thrashed after being deboarded  from the bus by miscreants  near Sherri  Baramulla this morning."

He said that the Army men posted in Kichama Sheeri were on way to Baramulla. He said, "An FIR has been registered in the matter and investigation has been taken up.

2 fresh incidents in Budgam:

Two more incidents of braid chopping were reported in Budgam district on Wednesday.

According to locals braid of a 22-year old girl was chopped by some unknown persons in Shamshabad village.

Another braid chopping incident was reported from Iqbal Colony Khansahab where a girl student was attacked in the courtyard of her house. "She was attacked by some unknown person. As she tried to raise an alarm she was hit in the head and her mother found her laying unconscious with her braid cut," Majid, a local resident said.

He added that only 3-days back a girl was attacked in the same locality. The girl had foiled the braid chopping attempt.

A special police officer Bashir Ahmad was thrashed by people in Beerwah after being accused of being a braid chopper, police later rescued the person.

Senior superintendent of police Budgam Teijinder Sigh told Greater Kashmir that police are investigating all the reported braid chopping incidents from each and every angle. "We are holding public meetings to seek the cooperation of the people," he added.

Braid chopping in Kulgam, Kangan:

Reports from Kulgam district said the braid of a 13 year old student  was chopped off by unidentified miscreants.

Eyewitnesses said that people ran after the suspect but he managed to escape. "We were mulling to register a massive protest against this overnight incident on Wednesday morning, but our village was cordoned off by Army who conducted a search operation here," said a local from Zangalpora Kulgam.

A fresh braid chopping incident took place at Lari Preng Kangan in Ganderbal district on Wednesday evening.

Husband of the victim said that the braid of her wife was chopped off when she was sitting in the first floor of her house. "Unknown persons entered the room and chopped her braid," he said. The victim was rushed to sub-district hospital Kangan.

Dr Adil Ashraf who examined the victim told Greater Kashmir that the he found major part of her braid chopped during medical examination.

A police party headed by station house officer Kangan rushed to the hospital and interacted with the victim, said an official.

Over a 100 incidents of braid chopping have occurred in different parts of Kashmir during the past month while police are still clueless. The victims have told their families and police that unknown persons cut their hair after knocking them unconscious with some spray.

The police have formed Special Investigation Teams to probe the incidents. However, so far the police and the authorities have been clueless.

The police have announced a reward of Rs six lakh for credible information leading to arrest of any person behind braid chopping incidents. So far, no arrests have been made.

2 youth detained in Kangan:

A day after territorial army men were thrashed by locals at Akhal Kangan, police on Wednesday said that two youth have been detained for their alleged involvement in violence, arson and taking law in their own hands and for other offences.

Deputy superintendent of police Muhammad Omar while talking to Greater Kashmir said, "We have registered a case under FIR no. 96 under section 148-149-332-336 at Police Station Kangan in this connection and have taken up the investigation." (Reporting by Altaf Baba, Sheikh Nazir and inputs from CNS)

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