Nissar Shaheen :
Police on Monday arrested a youth who had allegedly circulated rumours on social media that a girl died after her braid was chopped at Habba Kadal here on Monday. SSP Srinagar City Imtiyaz Ismail when contacted told news agency GNS that the youth Abid Hussain Sodhagar was arrested and has been lodged in police Safa Kadal for spreading rumour that girl, an alleged victim of braid chopping, has died. He said that a case under relevant sections of law has been registered against the youth. There is unease in Kashmir over the spike in braid chopping incidents with womenfolk now reluctant to venture out of their homes.
Special investigation teams and round the clock helplines have been also set up in every district to probe the incidents. Police has also announced a reward of Rs 6 lakh to anybody who can give leads on the braid choppers. While no arrests have been made so far, the police had been threatening legal action against those spreading braid-chopping rumours. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also assured stern action against the culprits and public avowed to get to the root of the incident and unmask those behind such incidents.
On October 6, a 70-year-old man was mistaken as a braid chopper and hit by a brick which led to his death in Danter village of Anantnag district. According to police, Abdul Salam Wani was attacked with a brick when he was heading towards his home after offering early morning (Fajr) prayers. Wani was shifted to district hospital Anantnag and later referred to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries.
At some places, locals have caught ‘innocent people’ suspecting them of being the culprits. For example in Delina Baramulla, locals thrashed a boy suspecting him to be a braid chopper. He revealed to police that he was there to meet his girl friend. In Srinagar’s Baba Demb area, two women who gate crashed into a wedding late afternoon to relish Wazawaan were also caught on suspicion of being burqa clad braid choppers