Srinagar: Protests broke out in several parts of the city amid fresh incidents of braid chopping. In Karfali Mohalla area of Habba Kadal, people took to streets and staged massive protests after a young woman reported that her locks were chopped off by unidentified assailants.
Following the incident, youth pelted stones at police and paramilitary forces deployed at Habba-Kadal Bridge. They alleged that government forces were behind the incidents.
Family members of the victim, Asmat Khan (28), said that two persons barged into their house and hit her with a brick as Asmat resisted their attempt to chop her hair. The blow, family said, made her unconscious and the assailants chopped her hair. They said that the culprits stole a sum of rupees 7000 and a gold chain before fleeing the spot.
Asmat told Kashmir Reader that she was working preparing to make bread for the family in her kitchen when she heard foot steps approaching her from the corridor. “I thought that it was my father-in-law and I called him. Seconds later, some unknown person replied that he was not my father-in-law but a death angel for me,” Asmat said.
“Two men who chopped my hair were dressed in black and were wearing black jackboots,” she added.
Scores of neighbors and relatives were present at Asmat’s house while she narrated her story. Rumours on social media claimed that she was battling for a her life in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Soura.
Shabir Ahmad Khan, Asmat’s husband, said that he found his wife unconscious in the kitchen. “I saw her clothes were torn. I took her immediately to SMHS hospital for treatment because I did not know what had happened,” he said.
He said that Asmat had suffered minor injuries on her head.
Violent clashes also took place at Rekke Chowk area of Batamaloo after the braid of a girl was chopped under mysterious circumstances. Residents of Sheikh Dawood Colony played Jihad songs on masjid loudspeakers and blocked all the routes of the area by placing boulders on roads.
The residents also claimed they an attempt of braid chopping was foiled early in the morning when two people went inside the house of Ruhi Beagum. Th woman said that she had a narrow escape.
“I went out to empty the trash-bin. When I returned, the door of my house was locked from inside,” Ruhi said. “I raised my voice and people came and assembled outside my home. They then climbed into the house through a second floor window and found footprints of the man who had managed to sneak inside,” she added.
Reports of protests also came from Qamarwari. Residents of the areas, over the last couple of days, have been claiming that ‘at least a dozen braid choppers are roaming in the area’. They say that women of the area were living in sate of fear and panic.