Police cracks whip on braid-chopping vigilantes

Police cracks whip on braid-chopping vigilantes

Man’s beard chopped in Batamaloo, forest officials thrashed in Sopore

SRINAGAR: A newly-wed man’s beard was chopped in Srinagar on Tuesday allegedly by three persons when they caught hold of him early in the morning while as police arrested at least 16 persons in alleged braid-chopping attempt in Hazratbal.
In Sopore town of Baramulla district, four forest department officials were thrashed for being mistaken as braid chopping this evening.
Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Kashi Mohalla Batamaloo told the Kashmir Reader that soon after early morning prayers he went to open his shop near his home.
“While I was yet to fully open my shop, one person came to seek cigarettes and while I bent down to take out the cigarettes, he held me by my neck and two other persons appeared who first spread something on my face and later I found beard on left side of my face cut at two places,” he said.
After reclaiming consciousness, Bhat said he was taken to SMHS hospital where doctors examined him. “I gave my statement first in police station Karan Nagar and then in PS Batamaloo where SHO questioned about the incident and I explained it completely,” he said.
“I am going to SMHS hospital again for medical examination on Wednesday where a J&K police cop will accompany me,” Bhat added.
“I have given my clothes I was wearing at the time of beard chopping while the part of beard cut by the mysterious person also was taken by police,” he said.
A policeman from police station Batamaloo said that police went to the spot for investigations.
This is second such case wherein beard of a man was scissored. On October 6, mysterious persons chopped off beard of Molvi Ghulam Nabi Ghorsi when he was on way to Masjid in Futlipora village of Chrar-e-Sharief in Budgam district to lead Fajr prayers. He had reportedly fell unconscious and was shifted to hospital soon after.
In another incident, four employees of the forest department were thrashed by locals after mistaking them as braid choppers in Janwara area of Sopore town north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
According to reports, four forest personnel were performing their duty and were heading towards Janwara area at about 7 pm after receiving inputs about the hiding of illegal forest timber in the area.
After reaching there, they were stopped by locals who suspected them as braid-choppers and beat them ruthlessly. They were identified as Bashir Ahmad Trunkroo, Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, Farooq Ahmad Wani, and Azad Ahmad.
The vehicle they were travelling in was also damaged by the locals.
One of the forest officials said that they all were later shifted to sub-district hospital Sopore among whom senior forest-guard Bashir Ahmad is “critically” injured.
“We have registered a case in this regard at police post Warpora Sopore,” he said.
Meanwhile, police in Srinagar have arrested 16 persons in alleged braid chopping in Hazratbal where a person was beaten up for being a braid chopper on October 19.
A police official said, “A group of local boys illegally restrained the civilian, beat him ruthlessly and also tried to drown him in Dal lake.”
“A police party of Nigeen police station rushed to the spot and rescued this victim, the violent mob resorted to heavy stone pelting on police party,” the officer said.
He said that a case FIR number 140/2017 u/s 307, 323, 341, 342, 147, 148 RPC was registered and investigation taken up.
During the course of investigation, sixteen “miscreants” who were part of the violent mob were identified and have been arrested.
The officer identified the arrested persons as Abdul Rashid Sofi (65),Bilal Ahmad Sofi (24) alias Sunny, Manzoor Ahmad Sopori alias Adil, Suhail Ahmad Wani alias Suhail poison (25), Chraan Ahmad Sheikh (18), Owais Ahmad Shalla (28), Bilal Ahmad Dar alias Kila, Tufail Ahmad Wani (18) alias Udo, Mohammad Idress Baba (22), Danish Nazir Teli, Umer Ali Ganie (26), Fayaz Ahmad Dar, Azhar Bashir (24), Muneer Ahmad Sofi (29), Owais Nazir Yatoo and Mohammad Saleem Shaksaz (27).
“The arrested ‘miscreants’ have further revealed names of their accomplices and police is in the process to nab the remaining trouble mongers as well,” he said.
A number of persons have been arrested by police for attacking innocents accusing them of being braid choppers.
Director General of Police (DGP) has reportedly said that there were 74 incidents wherein people beat innocents for being braid choppers.
—With inputs of Asim Shah


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