The unabated braid-chopping incidents sparked a spontaneous shutdown in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district while a large number of people hit to roads and staged a massive protest against such incidents and army’s alleged help to the culprits involved in the acts.Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS that all the shops and business establishments remained shut while the impact of shutdown was also felt in adjoining villages of the district headquarters.Youth took to streets in Malwan village of the district today where two alleged braid cutters were nabbed by the residents last night before they allegedly took shelter inside an army camp.The protesters said that three persons were nabbed by the residents after they made an attempt to cut the braid of a woman in Malwan village last night.“We nabbed two of them but the third one managed to flee. He alerted the army personnel at Devsar camp who arrived in the village. They fired some shots in the air and whisked away two of the culprits,” said a protester.Pertinently, 19 cases of braid chopping have been reported in the district in less than a month.Police on Monday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the braid chopping incidents.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already directed Jammu Kashmir Police Chief to constitute a police team and resolve the mystery.
Meanwhile, two fresh incidents of braid chopping were reported from Galwanpora Manzgam in Kulgam and Nagam Kokarnag area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.The victims including a 10 year old girl and a married woman have been identified as Taliba Jan daughter of Muhammad Ayoub Ganai and Josy Jan wife of Muhammad Shafi Dar.Meanwhile, MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami while expressing deep concern over the rising incidents of mysterious braid chopping condemned these incidents and urged administration to gear up for the challenge as mere assurances won’t help.He said, "These incidents have created panic among the people at a time when harvesting season is in full swing. This can also affect the ongoing fruit exports to different parts of the country. Administration must gear up itself to book these anti-social elements. Mere assurances won’t help as these incidents are repeated with greater frequency. People in these areas are terrified and administration must take tangible steps to restore the confidence of the people.”“Community leaders, village elders and others must remain vigilant to expose these elements. People from all walks of life need to share the responsibility in identifying these anti-social elements,” he added. (CNS)