STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Panic over women’s hair allegedly being chopped off in the Valley led to the death of a septuagenarian after a young man hit him with a stone under the impression he was the one behind the mysterious incidents.
Residents said Abdul Salam Wani, 70, was hit in Danter village in Anantnag district when he was returning from a mosque after the night prayers.
They said the man who threw the stone at him thought he was the braid chopper out at night.
The Anantnag police, however, said they were not aware of the incident.
“We have not received any complaint or report about the incident,” a police official said.
The villagers said Wani succumbed to injuries on his way to a hospital.
Asked why the matter was not reported to the police, a resident said, “It was an accident”.
Fear has been spreading across the Valley with women complaining about their hair being cut by unidentified people over the past few days.
Vigilante groups have started patrolling neighbourhoods in a bid to prevent such incidents.
The fear has led to mob violence. A young boy was beaten up in the Delina area of Baramulla district earlier this week on the suspicion that he was a braid chopper.
It later transpired that he had come to the neighbourhood to meet a friend.
In another case, two women were beaten up at a wedding on a similar suspicion in the Baba Demb area of the city.
Meanwhile, mobile Internet services were on Friday temporarily suspended in Kashmir to check rumour-mongering after several cases of vigilante violence related to braid- chopping were reported in the Valley, officials said.
The services were snapped for a few hours during the day, but were restored by evening.
Separatists had also called for protests against braid- chopping incidents. Several groups protested in the Valley over the incidents.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Kashmir, G H Bhat on Friday appealed to the general public in particular and the families of victims of braid chopping incidents to cooperate with the police for proper investigation into the incidents.
DIG was speaking to the media persons during a press conference convened, here.
SSP Srinagar, Imtiaz Ismail Parray was also present during the press conference.
Briefing the media persons, DIG said that although there have been no formal complaints into the braid chopping incidents from the victims, the police has filed the cases after taking cognizance of the reports. Giving details, he said that 23 cases, all from central Kashmir, have been registered and investigation is underway in all the cases.
Giving details of the braid chopping incident reported from Gulberg Colony in Srinagar, the DIG said that a female maid, a minor, has owned up to braid chopping of the victim and has been arrested.
He said the police department has constituted a special team headed by a lady inspector entrusted the job of examining victims and investigating the case.
Saying the law and order situations resulting from braid chopping incidents have prevented the police department in examining the cases, the DIG appealed the people to cooperate and let the police investigate the incidents properly.
DIG also requested the media fraternity to report incidents based on true facts and after proper verification.
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