SRINAGAR: A mob in border district of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday accused a soldier of being a braid chopper and beat him before being rescued by the police and army.
The braid of a woman was chopped inside her house at Redi Chowkibal area of Kupwara district early this morning.
The locals alleged that a Territorial Army man barged into the residence of Ghulam Nabi Pir in the village early this morning and cut the braid of his daughter.
They said after hue and cry over the incident, the residents of the area came out on roads and chased the braid chopper and caught hold of him.
The mob starting beating the alleged braid chopper, who turned out to be a jawan of a Territorial Army after his identity card was checked, the locals said.
The mob heckled and beat the jawan.
After being informed about the incident, the police and army men rushed to the spot and it took them some time to rescue the jawan from the clutches of the mob.
After the jawan was rescued by troops, locals indulged in stone pelting on the security force personnel, who retaliated by lobbing tear smoke shells. The clashes continued for some time.
A video of the incident in which a mob is thrashing the army jawan has gone viral on the social networking sites.
SSP Kupwara Shamsher Hussain dismissed the allegations of the locals.
“The braid cutting incident had taken place at 7.30 am on the first floor of the house while the victim’s father was present on the ground floor,” Hussain told New Indian Express.
He said the mob manhandled an army jawan, who was rescued by the police. “The mob also pelted stones on the army camp”.
Hussain said hair of the woman has been cut and police would be recording her statement.
The police officer said it is not possible for any outsider to enter the first floor of a house without being detected.
“We have launched investigations,” he said.
People, especially women also staged anti-government protests in Srinagar and some other parts of Valley against the braid chopping incidents.
Over 100 braid chopping incidents have been reported from the Valley so far.
The braid chopping incidents have taken place both in isolated and congested areas, mostly early in the morning or late in the evenings, triggering an outcry and near daily protests.
The Valley is on edge after the braid chopping incidents with fear psychosis gripping women of all ages, who now fear to venture out of their homes.
There have been many incidents when people caught and beat suspected braid choppers, who later turned out to be innocent.
In one such incident last week, a 70-year-old man died of grievous injuries when he was mistaken as a braid chopper and attacked with a brick by his nephew in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Police also rescued some foreign tourists and non-local labourers from Srinagar when they were being mistaken for braid cutters.
Police has formed special investigation teams to probe the braid chopping incidents but breakthrough has eluded them so far. There has been no arrest so far.
Police has also announced reward of Rs 6 lakh for information on the braid choppers.
The separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded over five-month-long unrest in the Valley after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing last year, have blamed security forces and government for braid-chopping incidents.
On October 9, Kashmir observed shutdown on the call of separatists against braid chopping incidents.