The Curious Phenomenon of Braid Chopping

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 It is a matter of doubt if there really is any braid chopper or is it a “conspiracy” by some agencies? We have to find out the truth in order to save the dignity of women folk in Kashmir.


Author: Mehwish Mushtaq

In just less than a month, more than 80 incidents or several attempts of braid chopping of women have been reported from different parts of Kashmir. There seems to be no end to this menace, looming large over the inhabitants of the valley.

It is an entirely new phenomenon in the history of Kashmir with people having no clue about the perpetrators of such incidents. One needs to reflect and think about who could be these braid choppers? The police claims, “The damage is self-inflicted” while some militants and other groups allege that it is a brainchild of Rashtriya Sewa Sangh (RSS) and other Indian security agencies.

The valley reported its first braid chopping incident in the month of September 2017, about a month after Jammu had reported of several such incidents. The separatist faction blames the Indian security agencies for the act.

On October 2, Riyaz Naikoo (formal operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen) released an audio statement saying that such activities are only aimed at weakening the pro-freedom movement. He further added that this is being done to keep people away from supporting militancy, as it is a new strategy to trace the movement of the rebels.

Now everyone in Kashmir is being suspected (whether he is a Bihari labourer, any roadside romeo or any unfamiliar face). Recently, a 70 year old man died after he was beaten with a brick on the suspension of being a braid chopper. Even two ladies wearing a veil were suspected of braid chopping and were beaten mercilessly.

It stared from Haryana, spread to Delhi and reached Jammu. Now it is only happening in Kashmir. It is a direct attack on the modesty and dignity of a woman.

Meanwhile, the State Government has constituted a special investigation team, set-up help lines in every district but nobody has been arrested yet.

There is no braid chopper, only the suspected people (without any proof) that are being beaten up by the public. People must not take law in their own hands as it will do nothing but affect our society in a negative way.

It is a matter of doubt if there really is any braid chopper or is it a “conspiracy” by some agencies? We have to find out the truth in order to save the dignity of women folk in Kashmir.

The author is pursuing bachelors in Mass Communication and Multi Media from Govt Degree College Baramulla.

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