Mob brutally attacks mentally challenged man as 'braid chopper'
A mentally challenged person was critically injured on Friday as a mob tried to immolate him and run him over with a tractor on suspicion of being a braid chopper in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore. Police, which rescued him in the nick of time, has warned of stern action against vigilante mobs.
The police received information that a mob had got hold of an alleged braid chopper in the Fruit Mandi area.
When they rushed to the spot, they found the mob beating the person, Wasim Ahmad Tantray, "ruthlessly".
"The miscreants had also burnt some grass and were trying to set the person ablaze. Some even tried to run him over with a tractor," a police officer said.
Tantray, who is said to be "mentally challenged", was rescued and rushed to a Sopore hospital. "Condition of the injured is stated to be critical and he was referred to Srinagar," the police officer said.
An FIR was registered and the culprits have been identified, the police said.
Senior superintendent of Police (SSP) Sopore, Harmeet Singh told reporters that stern action would be taken against those persons who take law in their own hands while purportedly maintaining vigil against braid choppers.
Singh said those people who tried to immolate Tantray in Sopore on Friday have been identified.
"We have identified those responsible for severely beating a mentally challenged person and also trying to set him ablaze," the SSP said.
He denied rumours that the mentally challenged person was intoxicated when the mob nabbed him.
In a similar incident on Thursday, a special police officer (SPO) was severely beaten by a mob in Hazratbal area of Srinagar city after accusing him of being a braid chopper.
"The SPO had come to meet his brother who is pursuing masters degree in mathematics at Kashmir University. He had stayed for the night with his brother in a rented accommodation outside the campus.
"When he came out of his brother's lodgings, he was caught by a mob and ruthlessly beaten," police said.
There have been over 120 reports of braid chopping in the Kashmir Valley in the last two months, with mobs beating up
strangers, tourists and even armymen in plainclothes on suspicion of being braid choppers. - IANS