Srinagar, Oct 17: Braid chopping incidents continue to baffle people in Kashmir even as many parts of Valley witnessed shutdown and protests demanding arrest of miscreants involved in such uncivilized acts.
Maisuma locality in the heart of Srinagar city and its adjoining areas observed a shutdown while heavy presence of government forces was ensured there to maintain law and order. The movement of the people was restricted there using concertina wires. Shops and other business establishments remained shut in Maisuma, Gawkadal, Basant Bagh, Kokar Bazar, Budshah Chowk while Auqaf market too remained shut.
Protests erupted at Narparistan Fathekadal in old Srinagar city over an overnight braid chopping incidents. Witnesses informed news agency CNS that the braid of a woman was chopped off by miscreants while during confrontation, the victim suffered fracture in neck. “The victim’s niece was earlier attacked few days back and her braid was also chopped off,” the witnesses said.
Large number of people took to roads at Botshah Mohalla Lal Bazar area of Srinagar city where the braid of a woman was chopped off on Monday evening. The protesters amid anti-police and anti-government slogans demanded the arrest of braid choppers.
Police lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse protesters at Rambagh Srinagar. The locals hit to roads and tried to disrupt the traffic after a braid chopping incident. Police swung into action and tear-gased protesters.
Reports from North Kashmir’s Bandipora district said that shopkeepers under the banner of Traders Federation and Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) took to roads and staged a massive protest against unabated braid chopping incidents.
The protesters amid anti-government slogans marched from Nowpora to Gulshan Chowk. The protesters alleged that government has miserably failed to expose the miscreants involved in braid chopping incidents. They said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has lost the right to run the State affairs as she has failed to expose braid choppers.
Reports from Dachna Salamabad Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district said that agitated people caught hold of two alleged braid choppers and thrashed them. Witnesses said that police rushed to spot and rescued them from the wrath of agitated protesters.
Clashes broke out between police and protesters in Reddi Chowkibal and Kralpora areas of Kupwara district in north Kashmir on Tuesday after a woman’s braid was chopped off.
Reports said that locals caught hold of a Territorial Army man, suspecting him to be the braid-chopper.
The TA soldier was severely thrashed by the locals.
A video of the incident showed locals thrashing the TA soldier while army and police were trying to rescue him.
The incident triggered massive protests in the area.
Later, the protesters pelted the forces with stones who retaliated by lobbing teargas shells.
Meanwhile, as the news of braid chopping incident spread to nearby Kralpora area, the locals staged a protest demonstration and closed shops.
Clashes erupted in Kralpora as the protesters started pelting the forces with stones.
Police lobbed scores of teargas shells and clashes were on as this report was being filed.
South Kashmir’s Pulwama district observed a complete shutdown against the braid chopping incident. On Monday, the braid of a woman was chopped off at Dangarpora vicinity of the district.
Reports said that all the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads.
Auqaf Committee Pulwama organized a protest march that was attended by a large number of people. The protesters alleged that government and district administration have failed to nab the culprits. They raised slogans against police and the government.
Meanwhile, sources said that locals from Kakapora area of the district Pulwama seized a vehicle with Punjab registration plate (PB10B-G3418) when a couple of persons from the vehicle alighted from it and tried to enter into a house. The locals raised hue and cry while unknown persons managed to escape from the spot, leaving the vehicle there.
Locals said that the abandoned vehicle was later on handed over to police. “We are investigating the matter,” said a police official.
Police lobbed tear-smoke shelling to disperse protesters at Gangoo Pulwama who were protesting against fresh braid chopping incident in the village. The protesters had blocked the road prompting police to resort to tear-gas shelling.
Pertinently, over a 100 incidents of braid chopping have occurred in different parts of Kashmir Valley during the past month while police is 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.
At several places, vigilante mobs have thrashed innocents mistaking them for braid choppers. (CNS)