Ugly scenes of mistaken braid-choppers: Mob try to immolate mentally deranged man in Sopore

Hazratbal mob try to drown Namazi in Dal, mistaken as braid-cutter; Kashmiris on social media express anger

BK Correspondent/Srinagar
October 21, 2017 TOP STORIES 248 Views
Ugly scenes of mistaken braid-choppers: Mob try to immolate mentally deranged man in Sopore

The alleged braid-cutting incidents across Kashmir is taking ugly turns when unruly mob on Friday severely thrashed a two men on the suspicion that they were braid choppers.
The mob also tried to burn him man alive in north Kashmir’s Sopore area. A mobile phone video that was circulated on social media shows a group of men ruthlessly beating him, stripping him and attempting to set him on fire.
The victim was later identified as Wasim Ahmad Tantray, who according to Police is a mentally “challenged person”.
“We received information this morning that an alleged braid chopper had been attacked by locals in the Fruit Mandi area of Sopore. The police rushed him to a hospital, but his condition is said to be critical,” a police official said.
SSP Sopore Harmeet Singh told media persons that an FIR has been registered and culprits have been identified. “Action will be initiated against the culprits,” he said.
IGP Kashmir Muneer Khan said the man who was thrashed was mentally ill. “Had police not reached on time, they would have lynched him to death. Is this justifiable,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Srinagar Hazratbal area police said that a man, who had come to offer Fajr prayers at Hazratbal shrine was “mistaken” as braid chopper and people tried to kill him by drowning him in Dal Lake.
A police statement said that a protest was held at Hazratbal over the alleged overnight braid chopping incident in the locality. 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.
The police personnel without using any force persuaded the protestors to disperse and after lot of hectic efforts the protestors were dispersed and after dispersal some persons on reaching near the banks of Dal Lake caught hold of one person (name withheld) who had came to visit the Hazratbal mosque for prayers and accused him of being a braid chopper.
“The person tried hard to satisfy the people around him that he is not any braid chopper but had merely come to the shrine for prayers,” the police said, adding, “But the (people) did not listen to him and accused him of being a braid chopper. The protestors turned violent and got frenzied and in the meantime people from Dargah area in large numbers reached to the spot and started beating him ruthlessly. The “violent mob” also tried to drown him in the waters of Dal Lake just to get his confession of being a braid chopper.”
They tried to lynch him but police party reached on spot and rescued the person from being lynched, police said.
“The police party in a very professional manner rescued the person from being lynched and saved a precious life. 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.
People in the area resorted to pelting stones on passenger and private vehicles over a braid chopping incident that took place in Dhobi Ghat area on Wednesday.
Reports said that youths took to streets and pelted stones on passenger vehicles enforcing shutdown.
The shutdown and stone pelting resulted in chaos in the area. The people alleged that they caught a braid chopper yesterday who was later rescued by police and set free.
Pertinently, on Thursday people thrashed a policeman after mistaking him as a braid chopper.
The policeman had come to visit his brother who is a student at Kashmir University.
As soon the video of the mentally challenged man being beaten up by the mob went viral, Kashmiri nitizens on social media expressed anger and resentment over the action.
“Those who harm or beat anybody are worst criminals than the braid choppers and declared enemies of our society…stop it…,” posted Nayeema Mehjoor, chairperson State Women Commission, on Facebook.
Essar Batool, another Facebook user said, “…Mobs don’t have a mind but individuals do. While I understand everyone needs to remain vigilant but could we also ensure that no untoward incident happens and that we don’t resort to violence.”
Rafeem Ul Salam in his post said: “Haywaniyat on its peak…..! RIP humanity,”
Another Facebook user, Sheikh Mehraj, “Humanity bleeds in Kashmir nowadays…For God sake stop this now.”
Pertinently, over 130 incidents of braid chopping have been reported in the Valley in the past one month. Special teams have been set up to contain the incidence, which has spread panic among the citizens, but the police have failed to make any arrests.

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