Doctors found victims depressed, attention seekers; people not helping police, haven’t found chopped hair anywhere: Vaid
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have written to the government that an inter-departmental special investigation team (SIT) be formed to investigate cases of braid-chopping in the valley. Director General of Police (DGP) Shesh Paul Vaid told Kashmir Reader that a total of 101 cases of braid-chopping have been reported since September 4. “We have written to the government that an SIT also comprising officials from the civil administration be formed to investigate the incidents of braid-chopping,” Vaid said.
Early in the day on Tuesday, a high-level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Home, RK Goyal at the Civil Secretariat to discuss “how to stop the braid-chopping incidents”. Vaid, who participated in the meeting, said that victims were not coming forward to help the police in investigations.
“Police did not find chopped hair anywhere,” he said. “When people are not cooperating, then how can police proceed in the investigations? Police are for service of people, but people should cooperate with us,” he said.
The unabated incidents of braid-chopping have spread fear and caused widespread protests, with resistance leaders accusing the authorities of being complicit in them.
Vaid said that the south Kashmir region is the most affected, with 58 cases of braid-chopping reported from there. Central Kashmir region has 37 such cases registered, while only 6 cases of braid-chopping were reported from north Kashmir, Vaid said.
“63% of braid-chopping cases were committed in the evening hours, while 23% were reported in the morning hours,” Vaid said.
Kashmir valley remained completely shut on Monday in protest against the braid-chopping incidents. On Tuesday, protests erupted in Karfali Mohalla of Habba Kadal in Srinagar, where, early in the morning, a woman’s braid was cut by unknown persons.
The DGP informed that 48 victims of braid-chopping were married women and 46 were girls below the age of 18.
In Srinagar, the DGP said, 19 cases of braid-chopping have been registered, of which police took suo motu cognizance in 14 cases. “In 5 cases, people filed complaints with the police,” he said. “Five cases were found to be just rumour-mongering.”
Vaid said that the persons apprehended by people and accused of braid-chopping were found to be innocent. He said the police have so far not arrested anyone for braid-chopping.
He said that doctors have told the police that many victims of braid-chopping were found to be “depressed and attention seekers”.
“That is why we have asked the government to form an inter-departmental committee that should be headed by an Additional Deputy Commissioner and have on board the Deputy SP Headquarters, an official of the social welfare department, and a lady medical officer,” Vaid said. “They will talk to the victims, gather details as to who cut their hair, and they will visit the spots and take eyewitness accounts.”
On the directions of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, police have already formed an SIT headed by a woman officer. However, there has been no lead in the cases of braid-chopping so far.