Srinagar, October 25 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, former bureaucrats, academicians, businessmen, doctors, human rights activists and retired judges have rejected the police claim that braid chopping was a result of mass hysteria, saying that these disgraceful acts are being carried out in a well-planned manner to serve the interest of the Indian state.

Speaking at a conference organized in Srinagar by Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), the civil society members decided that they would independently investigate the phenomenon to reach a conclusion.

“There are multiple theories about braid chopping. If police claim that it is a mass hysteria without having any substantial proof, we too have a belief that it is not like that. Braid chopping is done in well-structured manner which satisfies the interest of the Indian state,” said Shakeel Qalander, a businessman and a member of KCSDS. “So having this belief, we have decided to investigate it, and bring to fore the facts,” he added.

Among the participants were a former High Court judge, Justice Husnain Masoodi, former Islamic University Vice Chancellor Professor Siddiq Wahid, Professor at the English Department Kashmir University, Professor Hameeda Nayeem, economist and former KU faculty Professor Nisar Ali, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons leader Parveena Ahanger, former Chief Information Commissioner Ghulam Rasool Sofi, former Director Radio Kashmir Ruksana Jabeen and poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef.

Justice Husnain Masoodi said, “The political executives in Kashmir are downplaying these incidents by describing them as mass hysteria. It is a ploy of repressive machinery to attack the people’s psyche. We personally need to meet these victims and come up with some solution that would be acceptable,” he said.

Professor Siddiq Wahid in his speech said that the cases related to braid chopping of women outside India have mostly been witnessed in the conflict regions like Sri Lanka and East Timor. Prominent civil society member, Dr Javed Iqbal, said that the facts couldn’t correlate with the police version of prevalence of mass hysteria in the valley.

Professor Hameeda Nayeem said that the mysterious braid chopping was aimed at diverting the attention from India’s plans to repeal Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

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