Mistaken for braid-choppers: Elderly man killed, three others beaten up

An elderly man was killed while three other persons were beaten up after they were mistaken for braid-choppers, police said, appealing people not to resort to mob vigilantism.

Authorities also temporarily suspended internet services in Kashmir to check rumour-mongering, officials said.

Abdul Salam Wani of Danter village in Anantnag district had come out of his house in the early hours of Friday to answer the call of nature, when the mob mistook him for a braid chopper and hit him with a brick, police said.

Vigilantes also beat up three people in Srinagar after mistaking them for braid-choppers, a police spokesman said.

“Around 7 pm one more frenzied mob caught two civilians on charges of being braid cutters at Chopan Mohalla, Ishber,” the spokesman said, adding the two were beaten to pulp  before  police intervened to save them.

They were identified as Samir Ahmad Khan of Ahmad Nagar and Tahir Ahmad Beigh  of Gojwara.

“People are again requested not to resort to vigilantism and cooperate with police in this matter,” the spokesman said.

In another case, a mob intercepted a person near Tourist Reception Centre on charges of being a braid chopper, the spokesman said.

“The said person was a transgender and had come from Anantnag to pay obeisance at the Makhdoom Sahib shrine in Srinagar.  Police had to intervene to rescue him from the frenzied mob,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman appealed people to “cooperate with police and not to resort to kangaroo justice.”

Earlier this week, two boys suspected by people to be braid-choppers were beaten up in Baramulla and Ganderbal districts while two women were thrashed at a wedding feast on similar suspicion in Baba Demb area of the city.

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