Braid chopping row: Clashes, shutdown witnessed in Lalchowk
Clashes between youth and government forces erupted in the city centre of Lal Chowk here, after a braid chopping incident was reported in Maisuma area of the city.
According to the reports, the braid of a woman was chopped off on Monday afternoon in Maisuma area following which youth took to the streets to protest against the incident.
They said that police foiled the protest march and fired smoke shells on the youth who retaliated with the stones.
An eyewitness said that massive tear gas shelling was reported near the vicinity of Budshah Chowk. The shelling created panic among the shopkeepers who shut down their business and fled the spot.
Meanwhile, in the old city area of Srinagar, students of Islamia College staged a protest against the braid chopping incidents on Monday morning.
Reports said that police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse protesters leading to the clashes in the area.
In the outskirts of Srinagar, people took to the streets after braid of a woman was cut off by some unidentified persons in Chanpora area of Srinagar.
Meanwhile, protests were also reported in Lal Bazaar area of the city after braid chopping incident was reported from the area.
In yet another incident of braid cutting in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, two burqa-clad ‘persons’ cut the braid of a teenage girl after knocking her and her parents ‘unconscious’ at their home in Salkote area of the district.
According to reports, two burqa-clad persons barged into the house of Abdul Hameed Mochi and ‘sprayed some substance on them which left them unconscious, and later ‘cut the braid of their daughter.
The victim Identified as Bilqeesa Bano daughter of Abdul Hameed Mochi of Mochi Mohalla Salkote Kupwara was found in an unconscious state and her braid chopped off. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Soon after the incident, people took to the streets and protested against the incident.
Meanwhile, in north Kashmir’s Sopore town fifth braid chopping incident was reported in less than 24 hours.
In Ningli area of town, unknown persons sneaked into a house of Mohammad Maqbool Dar and cut the braid of his wife Mehbooba Begum, reports said.
The family of the victim said that a masked person tried to attack the victim with spray, however, the act was not successful but in the meantime, he chopped hair of 50-year-old Mehbooba Begum. This is the fourth such incident in the town in less than twenty-four hours. Yesterday two braid chopping incidents were also reported in the town at two different places Khushal Mattoo and Dooru Sopore.
In another incident of braid chopping, unidentified persons sneaked into the house of Naseer Ahmad Dar and chopped the hair of his wife in HarduShiva Zaingeer area of Sopore town this afternoon.
Meanwhile, students in the town hit the streets and shouted slogans against the government for failing to stop the increasing braid chopping incidents. The protesting students blocked the road at Iqbal Market which for some time affected the normal routine work. However, police later cleared the road and brought the situation under control.
In Baramulla, residents of Sheeri held protests after a girl’s braid was cut for the second time in past three days today.
According to reports, the victim was in the courtyard of her house when the incident took place.
Her mother said that she was also present in the courtyard when all of a sudden her daughter felt unconscious. “The braid of her daughter was chopped off.”
She was rushed to Public Health Centre Sheeri in an unconscious state.
Pertinently, this was the second time that the girl’s braid was cut.
“On 14th of this month, her braid was cut by unknown persons. Today, they attacked her again,” said the girl’s mother, according to reports.
As the news of the incident spread, people took to streets and staged protests.
Meanwhile, in south Kashmir clashes erupted between government forces and protesters after hundreds of people from Awantipora area on Monday afternoon blocked the national highway in Awantipora area of Pulwama District over the recurring incidents of braid chopping.
The protesters blocked the traffic movement on the highway to register their protest against braid-chopping incidents. Traffic was later restored on the national highway.
Meanwhile, protests were also reported from Nikas village of Pulwama district after the braid of a 40-year-old woman was chopped off. She was rushed to hospital in an unconscious condition.
Sources added that soon after the news of braid chopping spread in the area, locals took to streets and raised slogans against the administration for failing to nail the persons involved in braid chopping.
Meanwhile, Pampore town observed complete shutdown against Braid chopping incident on Saturday evening in Nambalbal area of the saffron town.
Pampore Traders Federation, on Sunday had given a shutdown call and urged people of Pampore to observe shutdown on Monday against the braid chopping incident in the town.
All shops and other business are remained closed in Pampore area, sources said.
(With inputs from Bilal Ahmad and Jahangeer Ganie)