70-yr-old man dies after being mistakenly taken as braid cutter and hit by brick in Anantnag
Curbs imposed in parts of Srinagar, mobile internet services suspended
Protests, clashes in some areas
Police asks people not to resort to vigilantism
In the first death caused by scare due to braid chopping incidents, a 70-year-old man died after being mistaken as braid cutter in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and hit with brick by his nephew.
The locals said Abdul Salam Wani, a resident of Dantar area of Anantnag district, was hit by brick on head while he was attending nature’s call last night in his courtyard.
“His teenage nephew was heading home from the mosque in the evening. In the darkness, the boy spotted some movement and repeatedly called his uncle’s name. However, as he didn’t respond the scared boy mistaking him for a braid chopper threw a brick towards him, injuring him critically, they said.
Wani was referred to District Hospital Anantnag, where from he was shifted to SKIMS Srinagar for specialised treatment.
According to doctors, he succumbed this morning.
A police official said police has taken cognizance of the incident and launched investigation.
It was the first casualty caused by scare due to braid chopping incidents in the Valley.
There have been many incidents when people caught and beat suspected braid choppers, who later turned out to be innocents.
In Mattan Chowk of main town Anantnag, locals yesterday chased a man after suspecting him of being a braid chopper.
After the chase, they caught hold of him. However, they found out that he was a local labourer, carrying a tiffin box and water bottle.
Meanwhile, mobile Internet services were suspended across the Valley and restriction imposed in parts of downtown Srinagar today to foil protests called by the separatist leaders against braid chopping incidents.
The mobile Internet services were snapped shortly after noon.
The contractors complained that suspension of the internet services hampered their business as they could not bid for any government project today.
“There were many bids which we could not bid today. The unannounced ban on internet services is affecting the business community and the contractors,” said Adil Ahmad, a contractor from Srinagar.
The services were restored in the evening.
The police and CRPF men enforced restrictions in downtown Srinagar and Maisuma area in uptown Srinagar to foil protests and maintain law and order.
The cops had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to restrict movement of the people.
A police official said the restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure in view of the protests called by separatist leaders against the braid chopping incidents in the Valley.
The cops did not allow people to offer Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.
“I tried to move towards Jamia Masjid but the cops told me to offer Friday prayers at a local mosque as no prayers would be allowed at the grand mosque today,” a resident of Nowhatta, Aijaz Ahmad said.
The number of braid chopping incidents have increased in the Valley over the past few days and people have started resorting to vigilante action to prevent such attacks.
Police detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and lodged him at Police Station Kothibagh.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest at his Nageen residence while Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani is already under house arrest.
A protest march was taken out from Abi Guzar locality. Large number of people participated in the march.
The police and CRPF men sealed the Abi Guzar road and didn’t allow protesters to march towards Clock Tower. The protesters assembled at Press Enclave and raised anti-government and ant India slogans and demanded action against braid choppers.
As the protesters tried to march towards main road, police swung into action and detained dozens of protesters including Sheikh Abdul Rashid and Bashir Kashmiri.
Stone-pelting incidents were reported from Natipora and Nowgam areas of Srinagar after police men intercepted youth protesting against braid chopping incidents. The cops fired tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the stone pelting youth.
Reports said a youth was injured after being hit by pellets at Natipora.
Clashes took place between youth and cops in Reshi Bazar, Mattan Chowk and Cheeni Chowk in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The locals alleged that police fired tear gas shells inside their shops.
As a mark of protest, shopkeepers pulled down shutters of their shops and observed shutdown for the day.
Police today registered a case against a neitizen for posting an image of a student on social networking site and calling him a braid chopper.
A police official said police have lodged an FIR 321/2017 after a student from Langate identified as Ubaid Rasheed son of Bashir Ahmad Sofi filed a complaint with Langate police post.
The student complained that a neitizen Syed Mehdi posted his image on social networking site and alleged that he was a braid chopper.
The police official said the investigation has been started in this regard.
A police spokesman said a mob intercepted a person near Tourist Reception Centre at 5 pm and tried to lynch him on the alibi of being a braid chopper.
“The said person was cross dresser being a transgender,” he said adding police had to intervene to rescue him from the frenzied mob.
The person hailed from Lalan, Anantanag and had come to pay obeisance at Makhdoom Sahib shrine .
He was later handed over to his family.
The spokesman further said a frenzied mob caught two civilians on charges of being braid cutters at Chopan Mohalla, Ishber at 7 pm.
“Police timely intervened to save both the civilians, though both were beaten to pulp,” he said.
The spokesman urged people not to resort to vigilantism and cooperate with police in this matter.