Sri­na­gar cops now take on ru­mour-mon­gers

DNA (Delhi) - - INDI - Ish­faq-ul-Has­san h_ish­faq@dnain­dia.net

Strife-torn Kash­mir has de­scended into chaos as ru­mour-mon­gers and vig­i­lante mobs are us­ing the braid-chop­ping in­ci­dent to in­stil fear and fan anti-In­dia protests across the Val­ley.

Nearly 100 braid-chop­ping cases have been re­ported from Kash­mir but none of the ac­cused have been ar­rested. Al­most all in­ci­dents re­main shrouded in mys­tery with po­lice com­plain­ing of non-co­op­er­a­tion from vic­tims and their fam­i­lies. Po­lice have an­nounced a cash re­ward of Rs 6 lakh for any in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the “mys­te­ri­ous braid-chop­per”.

The hys­te­ria has al­ready claimed its first ca­su­alty when an el­derly man, Ab­dul Salam Wani, was killed af­ter be­ing mis­taken as one of the ac­cused in Anant­nag. Peo­ple have formed vig­i­lante groups armed with lathis, rods and swords to pa­trol streets and “keep braid-chop­pers at bay”.

From tourists to lovers to mi­grant labour­ers to rag­pick­ers and trans­gen­ders, any­one walk­ing or pos­ing dif­fer­ently can in­vite the wrath of th­ese vig­i­lante groups. Six for­eign tourists, in­clud­ing two women, were hauled up af­ter be­ing mis­taken as braid-chop­pers when they lost their way in the old city af­ter ar­riv­ing from Ladakh. The tourists were later res­cued by po­lice. Two In­dian tourists were thrashed. Even a trans­gen­der was beaten up be­cause he was cross-dressed.

—PTI

Women protest against in­ci­dents of braid-chop­ping in Sri­na­gar

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