Braid chopping incidents ‘new tool’ to create unrest in Kashmir: BJP

PDP’s alliance partner BJP on Sunday claimed that  braid chopping incidents were being used as a “new tool by separatists and anti-national elements” to disrupt peace in Kashmir and sought a judicial inquiry into the matter,

Chief spokesperson of BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit, Sunil Sethi, said, “The BJP has taken a strong exception to efforts being made to create unrest in the Kashmir Valley under the guise of protests against the alleged incidents braid-chopping. This is a new tool of separatists and anti-nationals to vitiate peace.”

The party sought a probe under the supervision of a High Court judge in order to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. “It is a known fact that many accusations against security forces and agencies in the past have been found to be motivated and false,” the BJP leader said, adding that the investigators needed to probe both sides of the story and bring the culprits to book.

Peace has been restored in Valley after “concerted efforts by security forces in eliminating a large number of militants and of the NIA in blocking terror funds,” he added.

Citing the recent incidents, in which tourists were subjected to violence after they were assumed to be suspects, Sethi said the violence had also damaged the tourist influx in the state. He stressed that the truth behind these occurrences could only be found out or verified after an investigation. “An atmosphere is being created deliberately to make it difficult for investigation to take place,” he also alleged.

Kashmir observed a ‘civil curfew’ on the call of the ‘Joint Resistance Leadership’ on Saturday against braid chopping incidents even as protests erupted in several parts of the valley despite government- imposed restrictions .

The ‘Joint Resistance Leadership’ comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had appealed people to observe a ‘civil curfew’ to protest “criminal silence and failure” of authorities in stop unabated attacks on Kashmiri women by “braid choppers.”

Close to 150 braid chopping incidents have been reported from various parts of Kashmir over the past one month but police has so far failed to make any arrest, citing lack of evidence and “cooperation from victims.”

Some top police officials and a PDP minister have dismissed the reported braid chopping incidents as “mass hysteria and phobia” despite widespread fear among people, especially women folk .

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat who was in Jammu on Saturday also brushed aside the issue as a “routine matter” which the civil administration and the police would deal with.

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