New Delhi (Sputnik) — The mysterious braid-chopping incidents in India’s Kashmir region has turned into a grave problem, threatening to rattle the security situation in the already volatile region, with angry mobs assaulting soldiers on suspicion of being the culprit.
On Tuesday, at least five soldiers of the Indian Army were assaulted and stripped naked by angry mobs who were protesting the increasing incidents of braid-chopping. The protests were triggered by reports of several women’s braids being chopped off by an unidentified man in the in Rambagh, Kupwara, and Pulawama area on the previous night.
Vigilante/mob attacks on Army personnel increasing in #Kashmir. Five soldiers today beaten up ruthlessly, stripped in Kupwara, Kangan, Uri.— Ahmed Ali Fayyaz (@ahmedalifayyaz) October 17, 2017
The state police had to disperse agitating crowds by lobbing tear-gas shells in Sopore. The violent protests were prompted by a complaint of one Shareefa Begum who alleged that her braid was cut off by some unknown men in Ningli area of the town.
“She was washing her face when the masked men came and chopped her hair. Their language was not Kashmiri. Definitely, they are not local,” a local man in the victim’s neighborhood said.
More than a dozen incidents of braid chopping were reported in the last 48 hours in the valley. The locals have linked the braid chopping incidents with the prestige of Kashmiri women, fueling further unrest in the valley.
The police have registered 105 complaints of the braid chopping incidents across the Kashmir Valley with 55 cases being reported from the south Kashmir. “There is no cooperation from the victims or from their families. We have started the scientific examination of the cases,” Khan added.
Earlier this month, locals had killed a 70-year-old man on the suspicion of being the braid-chopper. Last Sunday, six foreign tourists — three Australians, a South Korean, an Irish and a Briton – were allegedly apprehended and interrogated by suspicious locals. The tourists were later rescued by the state police.