Police stations to do joint patrolling with volunteers

Srinagar, Oct 20: Police on Friday offered to team-up with civilian volunteers in order to counter the menace of braid chopping in Kashmir Valley.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan, in an exclusive interview with The Kashmir Monitor said he would order the police stations to identify the volunteers and take their help.
“I would issue the directions today only. We have no issues with that (teaming up with the volunteers),” he said.
Unlike in Jammu, where only three of 252 reported cases were registered, the police in Kashmir has “registered cases in all braid chopping incidents, whether true or false”, the IGP said.
About how the police was able to trace militants without public support but not the braid choppers, the IGP said, “90 per cent of militancy-related cases (too) were solved with public support.”
“It is wrong to say that we don’t get public support. Besides other ways of getting information, 90 percent of militancy cases we get the information from public itself (sic).”
He said the detailed scientific studies carried out on victims in other states concluded that it was “just mass hysteria”.
“However, in our state, especially in Kashmir, miscreants and anti-social elements are trying to use this situation to their advantage. Innocent people, including those that are mentally challenged, are being manhandled, almost beaten to death,” the IGP said.
Blaming Hurriyat leadership, Khan said they too were “using the situation to their advantage in order to get out of pressures they were under because of so many things”.
Asked why the state police was not able to crack even a single case, the IGP said they have acted on the evidence they collected.
“Wherever we got the evidence, we cracked the cases. In one case at Gulmarg, it was the maid who had chopped off the braid of a girl,” he said.
“In another case a nonlocal domestic worker chopped off the braid because she was harassed by the house-owners. There was a case in which a lady had chopped her own braid twice due to some psychological issues.”
He said that the police was “tracing” each case not just to apprehend the culprit but to reach “to the bottom of it and know the motives”.
“There are so many motives that have surfaced. The vested interests are using it to their advantage.”
Asked if the police announcing award money to someone giving information on braid choppers further complicated the issue, the IGP said, “It did not”.
“The prize money is still there. If somebody has information with evidence, he can still come to us,” he said.
Khan said that those involved in vigilantism and beating up of innocents will be sternly dealt with.
“We have identified those who surfaced in recent videos manhandling innocents. We have made at least 8 arrests in Srinagar. Similar arrests have been made in Baramulla. Majority of them have criminal background,” he said.

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