Mentally challenged person mistaken as braid chopper thrashed in Sopore, rescued

J&K Braid chopping scare continues as probe committee is formed

Shock, anger and outrage gripped Kashmir Valley after a frenzied mob mistook a mentally challenged man as a braid chopper and tried to burn him alive and run a tractor over him in the apple-rich township of Sopore.

Sopore police got information that a mob had got hold of an alleged braid chopper in fruit Mandi area.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Sopore Harmeet Singh told media-persons that they have identified the persons who were trying to set ablaze Waseem Ahmad, a resident of Shrakwara area of Baramulla. "The police rushed him to a hospital, but his condition is said to be critical", a police official said.

"The boy was rescued by timely action of police".

He appealed people not to take law into their hands.

Over the past two months, Valley vigilantes have roughed up dozens of people on the suspicion of being braid-choppers.

"The person tried to convince people that he is not braid chopper but had come to the shrine to offer morning prayers". The protestors comprising of men, women and children were sloganeering against the incidents of alleged braid chopping in the Valley in general and Dargah in particular. "During the rescue violent mob pelted stones on the police party, however, police with the help of some respectable citizens was able to save the innocent person from being lynched", the police said, adding a case under relevant provisions of law has been registered and investigation taken up.

"Miscreants burnt hay in a bid to set the person on fire believing he was a braid-chopper".

Tantray, who is said to be "mentally challenged", was rescued and rushed to a Sopore hospital. However, people accused him of being a braid chopper and started beating him ruthlessly.

"We have identified those responsible for severely beating a mentally challenged person and also trying to set him ablaze", the SSP was quoted by IANS.

Singh said that during the investigation, they came to know that the youth was mentally unstable. "Some miscreants were trying to run a tractor over him", the spokesman said.

The fresh incidents come against the backdrop of a mob thrashing and stripping Army men in north and central Kashmir.

It was the third braid cutting incident in Beerwah in last few days.

A police statement said that a protest was held at Hazratbal over the alleged overnight braid chopping incident in the locality.

The vigilante groups have having increased night vigil in most of the susceptible areas.

The increasing incidents of braid chopping has triggered a wave of terror among the Valley's women and girls.

A day earlier, a Special Police Officer who was on a visit of the area to meet his brother, a student of Kashmir University, at his rented accommodation was also beaten up by a mob on suspicion of being braid chopper. However, police is yet to achieve a breakthrough and make any arrests.



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