Braid-chopping frenzy: Kashmir high court steps in, demands answers from Mehbooba govt

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday asked government to file a response to a Public Interest Litigation on growing incidents of braid-chopping in the state within two days.

Hearing the PIL filed by two lawyers— Hilal Akbar Akbar Lone and Masarat Kawsar, a division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Alok Aradhe also directed the government to provide details of FIRs registered in connection with the braid chopping incidents in the state so far.

The lawyers sought directions to the government to submit the status report of the cases if investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) so for and also asked the high court to direct the government to take concrete and efficient steps to eradicate the menace of braid-chopping in the state.

“Director General of Police J&K feels braid-chopping incidents in Kashmir Valley as a tool  used to whip-up hysteria against security forces and fearing anti-India sentiment, however on the other hand the general public perception is that it suits the security forces most by creating fear psychosis among the people in general so that no logistic support is provided to the militants in particular. Whatever is true, but the most unfortunate part of it is, Kashmiri women have to suffer and bear the brunt of all the war of intelligentsia of either of the two sides,” they said.

The female population now scare to step out of their house and some have even stopped attending schools in south Kashmir.

The issue has started to snowball into a major political crisis as government remains clueless and incapable to nab alleged culprits or unravel the conspiracy, if any, behind these incidents.

With the credibility crisis that the government and its institutions face, locals have started blaming ‘intelligence agencies’ and even the ‘police’ for these incidents.

Special investigation teams and round the clock helplines have been also set up in every district to probe the incidents. Police has also announced a reward of Rs 6 lakh to anybody who can give leads on the braid choppers.

While no arrests have been made so far, the police has threatened legal action against those spreading braid-chopping rumours.

Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also assured stern action against the culprits and public avowed to get to the root of the incident and unmask those behind such incidents.