MOHD MAJID MALIKDODA:
At least 5 new incidents of braid chopping were reported from Assar and Charlla areas of district Doda on Wednesday, with four of them reported from Assar alone.
As per reports, in Assar Sunita (35) of Halya village claimed she had a strange dream around afternoon after which she fell unconscious.
She said that she found her braid chopped off when she woke up.
Her husband, Raj Kumar, said they were in a state of shock as they are unable to understand how this happened.
Manju Devi (37) of Jattar claimed that her hair was chopped off when she was working in a room.
She claimed to have “seen a shadow” after which she fell unconscious. “When I woke up,I found my braid chopped off.”
Paplu Devi of Kutharya said she was working outside her home and she heard the sound of scissors snipping her hair in the evening . SunitaDevi , of village Hallyian in Assar also claimed that her hair were chopped off on Wednesday and she is unaware of how the incident happened. Rinku Devi of ShhirmituCharala, Doda reported similar incident.
The police claimed they would soon crack the cases. The SHOs concerned and officials of these areas conducted preliminary investigations into these incidents. “We are working on different angles to ascertain the basic cause of such incidents. Soon, we will crack the mystery,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Doda, MohdShabirKhatana.
The police have sent samples of the hair to the forensic laboratory in Srinagar, he informed.
It is worthwhile to mention here that a series of bizarre incidents, where women’s braids are mysteriously being cut off, have been reported from several parts of Doda district over the last few weeks especially some villages of Bhaderwah and Doda have been hit by an eerie form of crime.
As per reports, mysterious men and women are reportedly chopping off women’s braids. The victims range from young ladies to elderly citizens. The chopped off braids are left on the scene of crime, and no theft or any external injury has been reported in these incidents.
The victims usually reported acute pain in their head and then fell unconscious, with some needing hospitalisation.
The bizarre cases of braid chopping have created an unprecedented panic in the affected areas which included Bhaderwah ,Doda , Assar and Charlla and left women and children panic-stricken.
The police in Bhaderwah and other areas quizzed many beggars and suspects but failed to crack the growing cases of ghost-like appearances and sudden occurrences of braid cutting.
According to reports, at least 10 cases of braid chopping have been reported so far in the Doda region.
Psychiatrists, however, believe these incidents are born out of mass hysteria. “There is nothing like black magic or a mysterious man coming and chopping braids. It's mass hysteria, a kind of hysteria when a person gets into an altered state which brings out varied responses. And with anxiety, they start believing what they have read around them. It could be out of guilt, or fear or simply neurosis. This is where the patient does things to themselves without any physiological reason. It's their way of becoming important, something different, or grabbing the limelight or doing it just for thrill,” DrMadhumati Singh, a psychiatrist based in New Delhi has said.