Srinagar, Oct 21, CNS: Life was paralyzed across Kashmir due to separatist leadership sponsored shutdown call against unabated mysterious braid chopping incidents.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city to stop possible protests while shops and business establishments remained shut across Valley.
“Restrictions had been imposed in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safa Kadal, Maisuma and Kralkhud police stations of old Srinagar city,” said a police official.
Reports said that large number of government forces personnel had been deployed in restive parts of Srinagar city to maintain law and order. Concertina wires had been laid at different intersections to restrict the movement of the people.
The Joint Resistance Leadership led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin had called for ‘civil curfew’ on Saturday against braid chopping incidents. In wake of people thrashing suspects these leaders have appealed to people to hand them to Masjid Committees and not to deal with them directly.
The separatists have blamed the police for its failure to nabbing the culprits.
Reports said that complete shutdown was observed in all the districts and town of Kashmir Valley.
All exams scheduled for Saturday had been postponed by the University of Kashmir.
There have been over 120 reports of braid chopping in the Kashmir Valley in the last two months, with mobs beating up strangers, tourists and even Army men in plainclothes and militants on suspicion of being braid choppers.
Train service was suspended for “security reasons” in wake of shutdown.
“We have suspended all trains in the valley for security reasons,” a senior railway official said.
According to him, an advisory had been received from police to suspend all trains on Saturday.
Therefore, he said, no train can chug on Srinagar-Budgam to Baramulla and similarly no train will run on Srinagar-Anantnag-Qazigund to Banihal, he added.
Meanwhile, a fresh braid chopping incident sparked protest in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Reports said that braid of a 35-year-old woman was chopped off in Nowpora locality of the district.
They said that some unknown person attacked the woman (name withheld) near main gate of her house, making her unconscious and left after chopping her hair.
“She was going to unlock the main gate of the house around 6:30 am when she was attacked by an unknown person. After chopping her hair, the person fled. He also stole her golden earring,” they said.
At Ahmednagar locality in the outskirts of Srinagar city, the braid of a woman was chopped off by miscreants, triggering protests. The protesting locals demanded the immediate arrest of braid choppers.
Cooperating with police the locals in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district handed over at least six suspects who were roaming in suspicious manner to police.
The incident occurred in Repora village of Ganderbal district.
“It is quite appreciable that locals handed over these men to us without taking law into their own hands. During investigation it revealed that accused hail from Sadarkote Bala of Bandipora district. One among these six friends had arrived in the area to meet on the local friend,” he said adding that they were not braid choppers.
Hair of over 100 women and young girls has been mysteriously chopped off across the Valley during past month.
These girls and women have told their families and police that unknown persons cut their hair after knocking them unconscious with some spray.
The police have formed Special Investigation Teams to probe the incidents. However, so far the police and the authorities have been clueless.
The police have announced a reward of Rs six lakh for credible information leading to arrest of any person behind braid chopping incidents. So far, no arrests have been made.
At several places, vigilante mobs have thrashed innocents mistaking them for braid choppers.
The growing incidents have forced people to form local committees in every locality who remain awake throughout the night to ensure no braid cutting incident occurs.
These incidents have already created fear psychosis across Kashmir with fear griping the women folk who find it very difficult to venture out of their homes. (CNS)