The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday directed the J&K government to carry out proper patrolling to check the incidents of braid cutting. The Court also ordered the police to adopt the technique of crime mapping to nab those involved in braid cutting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
The HC division bench comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey issued the orders while going through the report filed by Jammu and Kashmir government in the case.
Justice Durrez said, “In crime mapping, police has to check the locations where crimes are happening along with exact time and date of incident. They will come to know the sequence how it is going so that police can do proper patrolling.” The direction was issued in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocates Hilal Akbar Lone and Masarat Kawsar. The petitioners had sought investigation in rising incidents of braid chopping. “In Jammu and Kashmir, women are facing a different kind of physical violence of braid chopping which is alarming and unabatedly rising, giving sleepless nights to women folk and their families,” read the petition.
State counsel, BA Dar, filed the report on the HCs previous direction seeking number of incidents which had happened, cases registered by the police and arrests made. As per the report 100 cases have been registered in various districts of Kashmir division and the investigations are underway.
In Srinagar district, out of 21 incidents, 11 cases have been registered. In Budgam out of 11 incidents, 11 cases were registered. One case was also registered for beard chopping.
In Ganderbal three incidents happened and cases were registered in all of them, while in 19 incidents of Anantnag also FIRs were registered. In Kupwara 21 cases were registered in 21 incidents, in Awantipora and Shopian four cases were registered in equal number of incidents. So far only one person has been arrested in Kashmir division.
in Jammu division, 252 cases have been registered and none has been arrested. 102 cases have been filed in Jammu, 25 in Kathua, 24 in Sambha, 23 in Doda and 17 in Rajouri.
Advocate Dar said that police have been making “every possible effort in arresting the culprits.” He said, “Special Investigation Team (SIT) have been constituted in every district and investigation is on fast track,” adding “police is doing regular patrolling and helpline service is also provided for public convenience.”
The court directed the state to file another status report over the investigation about registered cases and also sought report about Jammu division on next date of hearing on 25 October 2017. The HC also ordered government to file report indicating the data of braid chopping collected from other states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
“The data shall indicate the process of investigation done. Has any charge sheet or person been arrested, so that we can see what they have been doing to curb the menace? We will also come to know whether the person convicted was individual or associated with some group,” Justice Durrez said.
President of High Court Bar Association (HCBA), Advocate Mian Qayoom, pleaded that the police is not doing “proper patrolling.”
“Incidents have happened in night time also and police has not been there,” he said. The HC directed that the state shall adopt “preventive measures to ensure the proper patrolling.”
“Status report shall indicate the measures police have been taken and what they will do in future,” ordered the court.
Advocate G N Shaheen pleaded that he has met 20 victims and statement of not a single “victim or witnesses was recorded.’’ “It is an organized crime. Public has handed over culprits to police, but they have been released,” he argued.
Advocate Hilal Akbar Lone said government is “not sensitive towards the issue.” He pleaded, “Incidents are happening in every nook and corner of the state. The frequent incidents have resulted in public outcry.” He also presented videos of public nabbing incidents allegedly involving the braid choppers in Kulgam and Ishbar before the court.
“The person nabbed by public may be or may not be a braid chopper. Court needs solid evidence. Public shouldn’t take law in their hands. People shouldn’t panic too much,” Justice Durrez said.
Talking about the tardy approach of police, advocate Masarat Kaunsar said that the police officers at Rajbagh didn’t come to people’s rescue when called and instead mistreated them. The HC directed her to present the call details and recordings so that action can be taken against the guilty police personnel.