Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police chief, SP Vaid, on Sunday said that police won’t allow “anyone to create mass hysteria” out of braid chopping incidents in Kashmir valley.
He, however, ruled out that braid chopping is Kashmir specific.
“These incidents are happening at many places in India. Braid chopping happens in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and separatists (in Kashmir) are trying to make an issue out of it,” Vaid told Kashmir Reader.
Police has, meanwhile, doubled the award money from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for anyone who can help police in nabbing the culprits.
The police chief said that they have sought help from doctors and civil administration as well.
Braid chopping incidents have created fear psychosis in the valley and protests have erupted at many places in Anantnag and Srinagar against the failure of the authorities in nabbing the culprits. Police have formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to investigate the incidents. Yet, they have failed to find any leads.
Following outcry over the incidents, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, issued strict instructions to the divisional administration and police to nab the culprits found involved in the braid chopping.
Police said that more than 96 incidents were reported in Jammu region before spilling to Kashmir. The DGP said that police have contacted their UP counterparts to see whether there was any gangs were involved in such incidents. “But there is no such thing,” he said.
“The separatists want to create mass hysteria out of braid chopping which we will not allow,” he added. “There is an opinion amongst the doctors about it and we sought that… SIT is investigating the matter and the process is going,” he added.
On doubling the award money for those who help police in arresting the braid choppers, he said, “police will work and for that we need help from people.”
Reacting to the allegations that government forces were involved in braid chopping, Srinagar based defence spokesperson, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, told the Kashmir Reader, that “the allegations are baseless”. Spokesperson for para-military force, CRPF, also said that “the allegations are completely baseless.”
“I can’t imagine our personnel going there (for braid chopping),” said Rajesh Yadav, CRPF spokesperson.
He, however, said that if locals seek help in nabbing the culprits, “CRPF is ready”. “Yet, we are not helping J&K police which is investigating the case.”
Hurriyat Conference chief, Syed Ali Geelani, also expressed deep concern over the increasing incidents of braid chopping. He suspected the involvement of government forces and alleged that “in a highly militarised zone, the culprits go unnoticed”.
“The silence and incapability (of authorities) speaks volumes about the grave situation and is highly condemnable that despite attacks on modesty of women folk by these mysterious elements, authorities are not ashamed of their failure,” Geelani said.