At least six more reports of mysterious hair-chopping of women’s braids have been reported from east UP on Saturday, taking the count to over a dozen in the past two days. This sudden spurt in similar incidents reported over the last two days in East UP comes almost a week after initial reports broke from Delhi, Haryana and West UP.
Anand Shukla, a resident of Kunda police station area in Pratapgarh, said a 16-year-old girl fainted after someone chopped off her braid on Thursday. “She has been in a state of semi-consciousness for hours now. She is not talking out of trauma,” Shukla said.
During their inquiry, police found a relative from Amritsar had told the parents of the girl that the government was offering one lakh rupees in compensation to victims. Further questioning revealed the parents were behind the act, a senior police officer said.
SHO, Kunda, A K Singh, however on Saturday said there was no such incident. “The parents told us about a relative giving them false news of compensation. But we still do not know how the girl’s hair was chopped off.”
News reports of similar incidents came in from neighbouring areas of Phulpur, Jhunsi, Soraon and Deoli in Allahabad district came in. Villagers are also resorting to totems like lemons and chillies or turmeric paste to “ward off evil spirits and witches” who they think are behind the attacks, Shiv Mohan, a resident of Phulpur said.
IG, Allahabad, Ramit Sharma said, “We have issued an advisory to local police and village councils to keep a tab on incidents of rumour mongering over unscientific things attached to these incidents and reports. We do not want any untoward incidents because of rumour mongering.”