Unabated Braid Chopping Incidents: Protest, Shutdown in Kulgam

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Kulgam—The unabated braid-chopping incidents sparked a spontaneous shutdown in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district while a large number of people hit to roads and staged a massive protest against such incidents and army’s alleged help to the culprits involved in the acts.

Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS that all the shops and business establishments remained shut while the impact of shutdown was also felt in adjoining villages of the district headquarters.

Youth took to streets in Malwan village of the district today where two alleged braid cutters were nabbed by the residents last night before they allegedly took shelter inside an army camp.

The protesters said that three persons were nabbed by the residents after they made an attempt to cut the braid of a woman in Malwan village last night.

“We nabbed two of them but the third one managed to flee. He alerted the army personnel at Devsar camp who arrived in the village. They fired some shots in the air and whisked away two of the culprits,” said a protester.

Pertinently, 19 cases of braid chopping have been reported in the district in less than a month.

Police on Monday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the braid chopping incidents.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already directed Jammu Kashmir Police Chief to constitute a police team and resolve the mystery.

Meanwhile, two fresh incidents of braid chopping were reported from Galwanpora Manzgam in Kulgam and Nagam Kokarnag area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The victims including a 10 year old girl and a married woman have been identified as Taliba Jan daughter of Muhammad Ayoub Ganai and Josy Jan wife of Muhammad Shafi Dar.

Meanwhile, MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami while expressing deep concern over the rising incidents of mysterious braid chopping condemned these incidents and urged administration to gear up for the challenge as mere assurances won’t help.

“These incidents have created panic among the people at a time when harvesting season is in full swing. Mere assurances won’t help as these incidents are repeated with greater frequency. People in these areas are terrified and administration must take tangible steps to restore the confidence of the people.”

He said, “These incidents have created panic among the people at a time when harvesting season is in full swing. This can also affect the ongoing fruit exports to different parts of the country. Administration must gear up itself to book these anti-social elements. Mere assurances won’t help as these incidents are repeated with greater frequency. People in these areas are terrified and administration must take tangible steps to restore the confidence of the people.”

“Community leaders, village elders and others must remain vigilant to expose these elements. People from all walks of life need to share the responsibility in identifying these anti-social elements,” he added.

What Happened at Malwan, Probe Ordered

District Magistrate Kulgam Talat Parvez Tuesday constituted a special team to inquire into the Malwan braid chopping incident where people alleged that Army resorted to aerial firing to give safe passage to a culprit involved in the act.

Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Shahnawaz Hussain has been appointed as Inquiry Officer and has been asked to submit his report within a week’s time.

The directions from the District Magistrate came after his visit to Malwan village where people had hit to roads to protest against Army. The locals alleged that on Monday night, three culprits tried to cut the hair of two women at Malwan village. “The watchful villagers chased them away and caught hold one of them. To our shock, Army personnel from nearby camp emerged in the village and resorted to heavy aerial firing. They thrashed people took along the culprit with them. This incident amply made it clear that Army is involved into braid chopping incidents in Kashmir,” the angry protesters informed District Magistrate Kulgam.

Pertinently, the rampant braid chopping incidents in Kulgam district have created fear psychosis among locals. The locals have started night patrolling to avoid such incidents in future.

Meanwhile police issued a press release in this regard and claimed that misunderstanding led to Malwan Incident.

The police handout reads: “Yesterday evening at about 8pm when 9 RR cordoned off few houses in village Malwan , miscreants started spreading rumour that army has rescued hair cutter from one house.”

“Today it has been clarified from house owners that they didn’t catch any hair cutter; neither army rescued anyone from their home. Rumour mongers taking advantage of situation are trying to create fear psychosis amongst people. These anti- social elements will be dealt with sternly under legal provisions.

We appeal reasonable and respected people to come forward and cooperate with police to ensure curbing these elements and creating peaceful society.” (CNS)

 

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