Men skipping mosque prayers to protect women in Kupwara

Three recent incidents of braid-chopping in Kupwara have triggered such panic among people that men in some villages have begun skipping evening and late evening prayers in mosques to protect their womenfolk at home.
A teenaged girl’s (name withheld) braid was chopped by two veiled miscreants in the remote Budkoote village of the district around 3 pm today, triggering panic among locals.
The accused barged into the house and gagged the girl’s mouth before chopping off her braid, said a relative of the victim, whose pictures went viral on social media soon after. “The men wearing veils managed to escape after cutting the braid of the girl even as two women present in the house raised an alarm. The Tehsildar, Handwara, and policemen reached the spot and assured the victim of investigations into the incident to determine the accused,” he added.
Today’s braid-chopping incident was the third in the last three days in Kupwara. Such incidents have forced men to skip evening and late evening prayers in masjids.
“These miscreants choose to target women during the evening when most of the men are in mosques. Nothing is above the chastity and respect of a woman and that is why I have decided to offer evening and late evening prayers at home to ensure that nothing untoward happens,” said Nasir Ahmad, a resident of Awoora village.
The police should conduct patrolling in the evening and night hours, he said. “In our village, some families are staying together at night to avoid such incidents,” he added. The braid of a woman was chopped off in Awoora village on Wednesday evening, when she was going to the washroom in her house. The woman fainted after the accused gagged her with a scarf. In another incident, braid choppers made an attempt to chop braid of a woman in Hirri village of the district last evening. The family members raised an alarm, following which the accused fled. “It is a shame that the authorities have failed to track down these miscreants despite the fact many braid-chopping cases have taken place in broad daylight,” said Javid Ahmad Malik, a Kupwara resident.
A senior police official said night patrolling had been started in a few villages of the district. More than a 100 braid-chopping cases have come to light across Kashmir in the last one month, the police said.