J&K's Kupwara: Soldier accused of braid-chopping thrashed
J&K's Kupwara town is in a restive state after a soldier was beaten up by a mob on the suspicion that he was involved in a braid-chopping incident. The soldier is now in a stable state. HT reports that local boys thrashed the soldier, who was later rescued by the army. Recently, about 40 braid-chopping incidents have been reported in J&K alone. Here's more!
Kashmir's hair-chopping mystery
Hair-chopping incidents were reported in Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and UP. Whereas in other states, it was some miscreant cutting off braids, in J&K, it has become a symbol of state oppression. Most victims are middle-aged women and girls who have told police that unknown persons cut their braids after making them unconscious with some spray. Incidents are reported from dense urban and rural areas.
Braid-chopping incidents have triggered protests in J&K
Incidents of braid-chopping have led to protests in Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama and Ganderbal districts. Islamia College's students clashed with the police who used teargas shells to disperse the stone-pelting students protesting the government's inability to prevent these incidents. In Srinagar's Maisuma area, women and youth led a protest march raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Lawyers also took out a protest march in Baramulla.
What steps have the authorities taken?
The J&K police has formed a special investigating team to probe these incidents and announced a Rs. 6L reward for providing information regarding these attacks. However, there has been no breakthrough in the investigation until now and no arrests have been made. J&K police also recommended setting up a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, police officers and administrators for a comprehensive review of these cases.
Meanwhile, how have these incidents affected the state?
Meanwhile, these incidents have again affected civilian life in J&K. Last week, authorities had ordered all schools in Kashmir valley to shut down after separatists asked students to protest against braid-chopping. There have been several instances of innocent people being thrashed on mere suspicion of being braid-choppers. Vigilant committees have been set up which stay up at night to ensure that no incident occurs.