Srinagar: Hundreds of students of the Women’s College at MA Road in Srinagar held a protest on Saturday against incidents of braid-chopping in Kashmir. The protesting students gathered within the premises of their college and shouted slogans against Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The students alleged that the police were providing cover to the people who were behind the braid-chopping acts.
Sania, a BCom student, said, “There is an interesting pattern in these incidents, that whenever an accused is caught, a police party arrives within 10 minutes.”
She added, “How is that possible unless and until the police are not tracking the movements of the culprits? I feel the CRPF, army and police are executing these acts to create panic among people of the Valley.”
Another protester, Bisma, said that she agrees with the recent statement issued by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) that braid-chopping is being done by Indian “agencies”.
“The braid-chopping can be a plot of India and its agencies. India knows that there is strong support for muhajids (militants). People provide food and shelter to them, risking their own lives,” Bisma said.
She said that such tactics won’t work, for the people of Kashmir have sacrificed their lives for freedom. “How will India scare those people whose kith and kin were killed by Indian forces? Does India think those people won’t open doors for muhajids? We are with muhajids and the muhajids are with us,” she asserted.
Shifa, another protester, said that the braid-chopping has affected women psychologically. She said that women are being used as a soft target. “Whoso ever is behind all this knows that they cannot terrorise men, and so they are trying to break their strength using women,” she said.
Shifa said that she is scared of sleeping alone in her room and constantly keeps a check on whether her hair is in its place.
“Whenever I see a post on social media that the braid of a woman or a girl has been chopped, we three sisters check our hair at least 10 times in the night,” she said.
Some of the protesters said that their parents were asking them to quit studies because of the braid-chopping terror. “My parents were very supportive earlier, but ever since the incidents happened I was told to quit studies and remain inside the home, along with my mother and grandmother,” a student of Women’s College said.