Fresh Braid-chopping incidents in Srinagar, Kangan, Protests spreading across Valley

Fresh incidents of braid chopping were reported from Batamaloo, Palapora Noorbagh and Umar Hair localities in Srinagar, while another incident was reported from Kangan area of Ganderbal on Thursday.
The braid chopping incident in Batamaloo made a large number of men and women hit the streets in protest, a witness said.
People also took to streets at Palapora Noorbagh against a braid cutting incident in the area, another witness said.
In Nowgam, the police resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the protesters who were demanding action against the braid choppers, reports said.
The students of Central University of Kashmir, Nowgam campus staged a protest against the unabated braid-chopping incidents in Kashmir. The protest was held inside the CUK’s Nowgam campus.
Unknown persons chopped off braid of a 22-year-old woman at Goonchi Mohalla Akhal in Kangan on Thursday evening, locals said. They said that the victim was rushed to sub-district hospital.
“Two unknown persons appeared suddenly in front of her and pushed her down, some meters away from her residential house,” they said. “She became unconscious. When she regained her composure, she found her braid chopped off.”
Dr Mansoor Ahmad who examined the victim at sub district hospital Kangan told Kashmir Post that the braid of the lady was found chopped off when she was admitted in the hospital.
A police party headed by deputy superintendent of police and station house officer Kangan rushed to the hospital and spoke to the victim.
The DySP Muhammad Omar told Kashmir Post that they have taken cognisance of the matter and a case under relevant sections would be registered in this regard.
Meanwhile, protests erupted in Wakura area of Ganderbal district on Thursday after locals caught two persons alleging that they were braid choppers. “Two men moving suspiciously in the area were caught by locals and beaten to pulp,” said a source.
He said that locals alleged that both of them had tried to chop off braid of a girl. “Some chopped hair was recovered from the possession of the two persons,” locals claimed.
As soon as the information reached the police, a team led by the senior superintendent of police, Fayaz Ahmad Lone rushed to the spot and rescued the two persons and took them into their custody.
Talking to Kashmir Post, the SSP said that the two persons alleged to be braid choppers belong to a yateem trust and were actually in the area for collecting donations including rice and clothes. “As soon as we reached the spot, people indulged in massive stone-pelting in which some of our men were injured,” he said.
The SSP claimed that there had been no hair chopping incident and people mistook them as braid choppers after some rumours.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement said: “ Srinagar police arrested six persons for spreading rumours of braid chopping in the vicinity of Batamaloo. These rumour mongers were taking advantage of braid chopping incidents to instigate general public for protests and motivate the youth of Batamaloo area to pelt security forces with stones.”
“The basic aim of these detained rumour mongers was to disrupt peace and tranquillity so that the people of the locality take out processions against the government.”

Meanwhile, authorities closed all educational institutions in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday as protests over alleged braid chopping incidents spread in the Kashmir Valley. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti pledged to “unravel the motive behind these acts”.
Educational institutes will remain closed on Friday, too, “as a precautionary measure”, said the order issued by the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.
students held demonstrations on the the Kashmir University and the Central University of Kashmir campuses over the incidents.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said, “These incidents are aimed at creating mass hysteria and undermining the dignity of the women in the State.” She said the government will “unravel the motives behind these attacks”.
Suspected militants hurled a grenade outside a beauty parlour in Pulwama, which damaged the window panes. The police said militants lobbed the grenade near the Rajpora Chowk. “A girl suffered minor injuries in the attack,” said the police.

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