Eighteen people have been arrested for allegedly assaulting three Army men accusing them of being ‘braid choppers’ in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, the police said on Saturday. “Police have so far arrested 18 accused, including the main conspirators in the case, and recovered cash, ATM cards and mobile phones looted from the Army men,” a police spokesman said.
Three Territorial Army men were mercilessly assaulted by a mob on October 18. “A police party was rushed to the spot and after strenuous efforts, the injured Army men were rescued,” he said.
During investigation, it surfaced that the men were on their way to the Sheeri market area in Srinagar, the spokesman said. “They boarded a bus from Kitchama. Qaiser Bilal, a known stone pelter, also boarded the same bus. “Bilal hatched a conspiracy to get the Army men killed by falsely accusing them of being braid choppers. He raised an alarm near Sheeri Market and got a violent mob attack them,” he added.
He said that certain elements have been using the braid-chopping incidents to disrupt peace and order in the valley, spread animosity between people and the security forces, and create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty forcing women to remain confined to their homes so that the radical religious agenda of these elements are realised.