Fresh Braid Chopping Incidents Spark More Protests

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Srinagar—A couple of braid cutting incidents were reported from South and Central Kashmir on Friday, leading to protests and fear-psychosis among people.

More than two dozen braid chopping incidents have occurred from past one month in South, Central and North Kashmir. Southern part is the most affected one, where in Kulgam district alone over a dozen such inscrutable incidents have taken place in less than two weeks.

Eyewitnesses said, that an elderly woman who was on morning walk became the first victim of the day when two unknown persons riding on a bike stopped her and sprayed some chemical on her face as a result she lost her conscience. The unidentified culprits chopped off her braid and fled from the spot.

The incident occurred near Dharmbugh Kralpora in the outskirts of Srinagar city. The incident created panic in the area while people hit to roads and staged a massive protest, demanding the arrest of these criminals.

Reports from Wanpouh Anantnag in South Kashmir said that people blocked Srinagar-Jammu highway for hours together after a fresh braid cutting incident. Hundreds of people hit to highway and blocked traffic, forcing District Magistrate Anantnag to rush to the spot. The District Magistrate assured protesters of swift action and sought their cooperation.

At Nai Basti Anantang, Insha Amin (18) was hospitalized after an unidentified man entered into her room and chopped off her braid. The girl, who along with her father lives in a rented room was alone at the time of incident. The incident sparked spontaneous shutdown in the area while people accused police of shielding the criminals.

Earlier on Thursday night, people caught hold of a suspect and thrashed him at Shirpora area of Anantang district after they found a scissor in his pocket. People took him as braid chopper, however, police identified him as Gowhar Ahmed of Budgam- a notorious pick-pocket.

Reacting over the increasing incidents of braid chopping, District Magistrate Kulgam Talat Parvez said that SIT has been looking at different aspects and hopefully the mystery will be resolved. “Some people are blaming agencies while some feel that it is the job of some miscreants. We have shared some inputs with the Inspector General of Police and have activated village level committees. People are alert and from past one day, no such incident has occurred in Kulgam district,” he said.

Police Announces Rs 3L Reward for Info

 Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday announced a cash reward of Rs 3 lakh for credible information to nab people behind braid chopping incidents.

A helpline has also been established so that “people could inform and seek assistance with regard to any braid cutting incident.”

To speed up the investigation process, Special Investigation Teams (SITs) have also been constituted in every district headquarters of the valley.

“Police Community Group meetings were also held wherein PCPG members were advised to help and assist police in keeping a close vigil regarding braid cutting incidents in their respective areas,” said a spokesman.

“General public is requested to call on the helpline numbers in case of any suspicious movement. The person who will give credible information and assist in nabbing any anti-social element found in such incidents will be rewarded rupees 3 lac by IG Kashmir. The particulars of that person will be kept secret.”

All district SSPs have also been directed to utilize all the resources and men under their command and intensify the joint patrolling with the people of their respective jurisdictions to nab the culprits.

The help line numbers are as under.

In Anantnag, people are advised to call on these numbers (Police Station’s) Anantnag-9596777621, Bijbehara- 9596777622, Mattan- 9596777623, Ashmuqam; 9596777624, Pahalgam- 9596777625, Achabal-9596777626, Kokernag- 9596777628, Dooru- 959777627, Srigufwara- 9596777629, (Police Post’s) Khanabal- 9596777631, Janglat Mandi-9596777632, Bus stand- 9596777633, Sherbagh- 9596777630, Sangam- 9596777636, Uttersoo- 9596777635 and Larnoo-9596777634.

In Kulgam people are advised to call on 01933260160, 7051510660.

In Pulwama people are advised to call on 01933-241280, 241986.

In Shopian people are advised to call on 01933-261891, 9596768831.

In Awantipora people are advised to call on 01933-247369, 7051404001.

In Budgam people are advised to call on 01951-255207, 255042, 7051531798.

In Ganderbal people are advised to call on 2416478, 2416564, 9622688825, 9906668731.

In Bandipora people are advised to call on 9596767411, 9596767421, 9596767431, 9596767415, 9596767441, 9596767440, 9596767427, 9596767430, 9596767418.

In Sopore people are advised to call on 9596773024, 9596773025.

In Handwara people are advised to call on 01955-262295, 9906767076, 7051404201, 7051404206.

In Baramulla people are advised to call on 01952-237830, 9596767768, 9596767717.

In Kupwara people are advised to call on 01955-252204, 7051404938.

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