Editorial: Yet another botch-up
The braid chopping mystery that has engulfed the entire Kashmir Valley during the last four weeks has been deepening further with every passing day.
In less than a month, for instance, more than 100 such incidents, or several such attempts, were reported from different parts of the Kashmir Valley. The maximum cases — around 30 — were reported from Kulgam district, where it started on September 14. The braid chopping incidents which were first reported from different states of north India travelled to Jammu, where more than 120 incidents were reported, and things are getting worse.
In Kashmir, the issue has snowballed into a major political crisis as the government has to once again use its police and administration to ensure strict restrictions and even closure of all educational institutions to curtail the trail of protests that has emerged post the braid chopping incidents.
The situation it seems is going haywire as the government so far has not been able to nail the issue. No breakthrough has been achieved even if the police has announced formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and has increased the award money to six lakh for anyone who provides information about the braid choppers. If the government fails to provide any conclusive evidence about the
alleged culprits or the conspiracy if any, behind these incidents, the credibility crisis that the government and its institutions face, can worsen even more.
What is alarming is that the locals have started blaming the intelligence agencies and even the police for these incidents. The image seems reminiscent of the past when Ghosts were out in the streets during the early 90’s to scare away the people.
The opposition and the separatist too are not helping the government’s case either. Both are on the same page vis-à-vis alleging that it is the government machinery that is fanning the crises as the government machinery has failed to nail the culprits so far.
The incidents of braid chopping have created fear among the female population, who are scared to step out of their house and some have even stopped attending schools in south Kashmir.
At some places, locals have caught innocent people suspecting them of being the culprits. There’s an angle of personal enmity emerging in some cases, as the police claims but, in many cases the victims have not identified any offender. In some cases there are stories of people saying the attacker was helped out by some security agencies who managed their escape from the crime scene.
Want ever be the version, one thing is for sure that the police has failed to act in the case so far. The mystery has deepened further giving rise to speculations and rumours because of the botched up investigation that the police has done so far in resolving the crisis.