Braid Cutting

Braid Chopping: Six Kashmiri women who reportedly deflate the ‘mass hysteria’ theory

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Srinagar: At a time when mental specialists are exercising caution from commenting anything on the relentless braid-chopping incidents gripping Kashmir presently, a report in a local daily has deflated the “mass hysteria” theory upheld by the state authorities and many citizenry in an apparent bid to dismiss the entire assault cycle on Kashmiri women as a ‘manic phase’.

A front-page report carried by Kashmir Uzma, a sister publication of the prominent Srinagar-based English daily Greater Kashmir has quoted a mental specialist of the Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar, who turns down the “hysteria” in the victims.

The psychiatrist has told the Urdu daily that the six braid chopping victims coming forward to avail mental help have turned out to be the real victims — the one who were knocked down unconscious and left with chopped braids.

No symptoms or signs of hysteria have been detected in those six women, the doctor said.

“These women had no signs of mental ailment like hysteria,” the mental specialist told the daily, “rather they developed mental distress after the attack.”

But now, these women must avail the psychiatrist help as they have become susceptible to many mental ailments, the report quoting Dr Muhammad Maqbool, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said.

On the face of it, the report — largely being ignored by the vernacular press and that of Delhi media — has countered the claims of different State wings to label that the entire braid chopping incidents are an offshoot of the sudden, sprouted “mass hysteria” in Kashmiri women.

Largely being shrugged off, the theory has still managed to find takers in Kashmir, even when the victims repeatedly ask, “how come 200 plus women became hysterical overnight?”

While the clueless cops are still busy managing the aftershocks of the incidents, forcing locals to sit on patrol and act like vigilantes, the growing episodes have now become an outcry in the Valley and have threatened to derail the uneasy calm.

Amid all this, these six women have apparently cleared some air about the latest happenings on the ground.

But despite passing through an extensive treatment declaring them mentally fit, the mental specialist says, “the counselling has become mandatory for them.”

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