SRINAGAR: There has been no let up in braid chopping incidents in Kashmir and fresh cases were reported on Friday. The authorities suspended mobile services in Valley and imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of Srinagar to foil protests against braid cutting called by the separatists.
In the meantime, a 70-year-old died after he was mistaken as braid chopper and attacked with a brick by people in a village in south Kashmir last night.
The fresh incidents of braid chopping were reported from Pantha Chowk area in Srinagar; Parray Mohalla, Sangri and Singhpora Pattan in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district; Kanihama area in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and Donow, Kulgam in South Kashmir.
Over 240 incidents of braid cutting have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in over a month.
Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid told New Indian Express that 192 braid chopping incidents have taken place in Jammu region.
In the State, the braid chopping incidents were first reported in Jammu region. The braid chopping incidents were reported in Rajouri, Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Reasi, Udhampur and Doda of Jammu province and the victims alleged that their braids were cut by unknown persons after spraying some chemicals.
In Kashmir, the first braid cutting incident was reported in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district earlier this month. And since then more than 50 such incidents have taken place in south, central and north Kashmir including the summer capital Srinagar.
In view of rise in braid chopping incidents, fear has gripped the women folk and both the working women and housewives are worried about their safety.
There have been many incidents when people caught and beat suspected braid choppers, who later turned out to be innocents.
In one such incident, a 70-year-old man was mistaken as braid chopper and attacked with a brick late last night in Danter village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The man sustained critical injuries and was shifted to hospital, where he succumbed this morning.
The authorities today suspended mobile services in Valley and imposed curfew-like restrictions in downtown Srinagar.
The police and paramilitary personnel had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads in the curfew-hit areas to restrict movement of people.
A police official said restrictions were imposed to thwart protests called by separatists against braid chopping incidents in the Valley.
Fearing protests, authorities did not allow people to offer Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
The authorities also detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and placed moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest. Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani is already under house arrest.
The internet services were restored in the evening.
People also staged protests in some areas to lodge their protest against braid chopping incidents.
“These incidents are attack on sanctity of our women. We won’t allow anybody to play with the sanctity of our womenfolk,” said a group of protestors at Sarai Bala area in uptown Srinagar.
Police has formed Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to probe the braid chopping incidents but there has been no breakthrough yet.
Deputy Inspector General of Police central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat told reporters today that 23 braid chopping incidents have been reported in central Kashmir comprising Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam districts.
He said people would have to cooperate with the police so that the braid chopping incidents can be properly investigated and culprits booked.
Bhat said one case in Srinagar has been solved and the braid cutter turned out to be maid of the house.