News of violence from Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) has become an everyday instance, despite the Indian government’s efforts to discard the news as fake. The most recent episode which has surfaced in the valley is bizarre instances of braid chopping attacks on women – where hair are cut off in a violent attack. So far, the assailants have not yet been identified. The Hurriyat Conference has called for a complete shutdown of the city.

Instead of launching an initiative to look into the matter, stop the attacks and calm the valley down; the government is dismissing these stories as “rumours from the rural areas” and scoffing at the supposed superstitions.

This has instilled fear among the residents because they are being cornered. Families have been targets of brutality before, but this attack targeted at women has put the valley on edge. The tension is palpable, as several people loitering in the street have been beaten up on the suspicion of being braid chopper. Their inevitable rescue by the authorities – and the law enforcement’s patronising response – adds fuel to the fire, as people believe that the Indian government is behind attacks. It may not be behind these incidents, but the authorities are not trying hard to dispel the notion that they are.

These are genuine concerns which cannot be ignored. This is an era of the internet, which allows information to rotate around the globe. They cannot put this under the rug like all their illegal activities and pretend like they are the saviours of the region. Kashmiris will eventually reach a tipping point, and will retaliate in the highest possible capacity. Before that happens, Indian lawmakers need to sit down and think of a workable solution for Kashmir, because violence and terror are not workable solutions.