Two Kashmiri youth including a mentally challenged person were critically injured on Friday when a mob tried to immolate him and run him over with a tractor on suspicion of being a braid chopper.
The video of the mob trying to set him on fire has now gone viral on social media platforms. The video posted by senior Kashmiri IPS officer Mubassir Latifi. In one video a mentally challenged man is being seen in a helpless condition as mob try to set him on fire. The incident took place in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore.
In another video a mob is seen trying to catch a man from a boat before throwing him in the water. Police, which rescued him in the nick of time, has warned of stern action against vigilante mobs.
Latifi wrote, “Madness at its peak. Timely action by Police saved two young precious lives from being killed by violent mobs suspecting them to be braid choppers. In first video mob is trying to set ablaze a mentally ill person in Sopore and in second video mob tried to kill a man by drowning him. He was an innocent person who had come to offer prayers at Dargah Hazratbal. Please don’t look for the braid choppers. There are none.”
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 was quoted by IANS.
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.