Braid chopping: Kashmir observes ‘civil curfew’, dozens arrested for ‘rumor-mongering, vigilante attacks’

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

The police claimed to have arrested dozens of people on charges of spreading rumours and vigilante attacks.

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

Police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed in huge numbers to enforce restrictions in Srinagar as a complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir. A youth was wounded as government forces opened fire during clashes in Machow area on the city outskirts. Clashes between youth and government forces were also reported from several areas of old Srinagar city.

The police said it had arrested 14 people in Srinagar for spreading rumours while at least 12 people were arrested for thrashing and trying to immolate a ‘mentally challenged’ person in Sopore.

Several arrests were also made in Baramulla and Kupwara districts for attacks on Army troopers suspected to be braid choppers, the police said.

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.

Special investigation teams have been set up to nab those involved in braid chopping, which has created fear psychosis among the people, especially the women folk.

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