The police and witnesses said that a mob caught hold of the mentally deranged person and thrashed him severely on suspicion of being a braid chopper in Sopore's Pothkhan, Nowpora area on Friday. Police rescued the man and took him to Srinagar hospital where his condition was stated to be critical, the SP said.
The shutdown and stone pelting resulted in chaos in the area. The protestors comprising of men, women and children were sloganeering against the incidents of alleged braid chopping in the Valley in general and Dargah in particular.
In a video that went viral after the incident, some vigilantes could be heard shouting that the man's throat should be slit.
Many incidents have been reported of vigilant groups thrashing suspected braid choppers, who later turned out to be innocent.
The police personnel without using any force persuaded the protestors to disperse and after lot of hectic efforts the protestors were dispersed and after dispersal some persons on reaching near the banks of Dal Lake caught hold of one person (name withheld) who had came to visit the Hazratbal mosque for prayers and accused him of being a braid chopper.
The locals alleged that they had been sent by the police to get acquainted with the village in order to carry out braid-cutting attacks during the night.
Meanwhile, late afternoon reports from Baramulla said that a braid chopping incident took place in district.
The police has announced a reward of Rs six lakh for any information leading to the arrest of braid-choppers.
When they rushed to the spot, they found the mob beating the person, Wasim Ahmad Tantray, "ruthlessly".
Police has formed special investigation teams to probe the braid chopping incidents.
These despicable crimes against humanity are a blot on India, whether they are committed on a train from Delhi to Mathura, as was the case with Junaid Khan, or on a national highway in Rajasthan's Alwar, where Pehlu Khan was fatally thrashed.
The leadership has called the braid-cutting incidents as an "Indian ploy" to target women in Kashmir through "specially trained persons". "Unless we introspect and speak up", the minister said.
DGP police also appealed to the other state government agencies to chip in to deal with this societal problem afflicting people of the Kashmir Valley.