Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Unsolved mystery of plait cutting
By Kanchan Basu
Detective 'Byomkesh Bakshi' is familiar to Bengali readers. He is an immortal creation of great Bengali novelist 'Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay'. 'Delhi Doordarshan' made 'Byomkesh' familiar to non-Bengali viewers also. In one of the mysteries 'Benisanhar'(Cutting of Plait), Byomkesh solved the mystery by dint of his keen intelligence. But the problem of 'Plait cutting of Kashmir' remains a mystery, days after the stories and complaints have stopped.

Many girl students studying in 'Kashmir University' at Srinagar come from 'Baramulla', 'Tral', 'Shopian' etc. Some who cannot afford to stay nearby have to come by bus covering two or three hour's journey. Many of them I spoke to said that mysteriously plaits of hair of girls are being cut off by some unknown people in September and October. At first it was happening in villages, then in towns. Enemies catch girls from behind and do the mischief, they said. But the administration of Jammu & Kashmir has been unable to solve the mystery till now. So the girls are agitated.

In July and August this year, fifty or sixty such incidents were recorded in four north Indian state. All are unsolved.

Kashmir is not Delhi, Haryana or Rajasthan. In Kashmir, police and military arry on combing operation against militants and alleged stone pelters. They operate in every nook and corner of the Valley. But culprits of this mischievous act remain unknown.

While the braid chopping incidents were going on, local people had started 'night guard' system in many areas. In the 90s in Kashmir there was a rumor 'Steel Man' who scratched faces of people. It led many people to desert homes only to see lots of domestic articles stolen after return.

In 2017, Kashmiris are in grip of extreme 'Political Crisis'. The braid chopping incidents have added to the trauma and dehumanization of society as suspects are being caught up and beaten up by people. They eventually turn out to be innocent and one of them was lynched in a fit of rage.

Police had announced 'rewards' for people who could give the information about miscreants. Police opined that most of the sufferers are psychologically ill. But here in a disturbed area such opinions in the face of increasing incidents is nothing but disrespect to Kashmiri girls. Lunacy is a pretext used to suppress facts and couple this policy with arrests, jails and bullets for protestors. On 18th October police even opened fire on people protesting against braid chopping in Pahalgam. They cannot solve the mystery but can open fire.

Clearly, Mehbooba Mufti's government has totally failed in all respects.

Really we need a 'Byomkesh Bakshi' to solve this problem.

News Updated at : Sunday, December 3, 2017
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