A strange fear has gripped the women of Haryana and adjoining areas of Delhi in the past few days. At least 15 incidents of women's braids being mysteriously chopped off have been reported from the villages of the Mewat region in last two weeks.
The bizarre incidents with no explanation whatsoever, have left the villagers in panic mode and the local police baffled.
What's really happening?
Women across Haryana claim that they either see a cat or the apparition of a man, following which they fall unconscious. When they regain consciousness, they find themselves lying on the floor and their braids chopped off, Firojpur police told ScoopWhoop News.
All the women in question are reported to be in extreme trauma and still terrified. Many of them have also been admitted to the hospital.
It's happening in Delhi too now
In Chhawla area of west Delhi, where three cases of mysterious chopping of braids were reported on Sunday night. Sunday was the first time this was reported in Delhi.
Harish Chander, investigating officer at Chhawla police station, reiterated the same sequence of events in the Delhi episode to ScoopWhoop News, ''All the three women in this case were aged. The first victim was a 55-year-old woman living in Kanganheri village in outer Delhi’s Chhawla. The other two were 50 and 45 respectively. They told us that they experienced a headache and fell unconscious. When they woke up, their chopped braids were found at the spot. A FIR has been registered and the probe is on''.
A look at some of the strange experiences women have come across
In the latest such incident in Bhimgarh Khedi near Gurgaon, around 9.30pm on Saturday, a 24-year-old woman ‘was going to the washroom when she was stopped by a woman wearing black clothes’, investigating officer of the case Sub Inspector Naveen Yadav, said.
The complainant, Asha Devi, said that the black-clad woman had ‘lots of knives’ and she placed her hand on Devi’s face after which she fell unconscious. When she woke up, her braid was gone.
“We received a PCR call on Saturday night itself and we surveyed the area. We, however, couldn’t find any evidence and nobody in the area saw the woman wearing black clothes,” Yadav said.
On Saturday, one such incident was reported from Gurgaon. Sunita Devi, a resident of Ashok Vihar phase-III area, approached the police, claiming that on the night of July 28 she was attacked by a strange-looking man, in his 60s, when she was alone in her house.
"While I was preparing dinner in the kitchen, I saw a thin man in a red and yellow outfit on the main entrance of my house. When I went to enquire, I saw he was carrying a trident. I told him to go away. He went away and disappeared only to reappear," she claimed.
Sunita said before she could comprehend anything she fell unconscious.
Manisha of Haryana's Punahana also claims to have been targeted. She get her braid was cut off two days ago when she went to the jungle to get grass for cattle. “My mother and I had gone to the jungle to get fodder. She says she saw a person for a few moments and lost consciousness,” she claimed.
The police is absolutely clueless
ScoopWhoop News talked to DSP Firojpur Jhirka, who said police has received complaints of two-three incidents in Ferozpur Jhirka’s Santhwari and Satras villages. As of now, they haven't been able to zero in any of the suspects or find any links which could solve the case.
Gurgaon Police PRO Ravinder Kumar said the perpetrators are yet to be identified. ''It is suspected that a gang of anti-social elements was behind such incidents. They want to terrify villagers and violate law and order situation and harmony of the district'', he said.
Mewat Superintendent of Police Nazneen Bhasin said, "An unknown gang is behind this chopping of women's braids in Mewat. We have earlier detained two persons from a group in Nagana at Barmer district but they were not involved."
Mewat Deputy Commissioner Mani Ram Sharma has expressed hope that the cases would be solved soon.
"There is nothing like ghosts... some anti-social gang or group is trying to create panic in the region. Police and administration have beefed up vigil and security and have urged residents and villagers not to spread rumours," he said.
Conflicting opinions emerge
To probe the matter further, ScoopWhoop News contacted SHO of Sec 5, Gurgaon who is investigating two such mysterious cases from Rewari. According to him, all these are just rumours fuelled by superstition and lack of education.
''All women who have made these claims are uneducated and might have been under the influence of something. Not one of these cases involve a woman who is educated'', he says.
Meanwhile, the villagers are living in fear
To deal with the rising apprehension caused by these incidents, women have been asked to tie their hair in buns instead of braids.
Living under a shadow of fear, women are venturing outside to get water and fodder only in large groups and patrol parties have also been formed to nab those responsible.
"We have assigned our male members or family heads to patrol on a daily basis in two shifts. They are to stay alert 24X7 in order to combat the gang, animal or ghost, whatever it may be, responsible," Ram Mehar Yadav, a resident of Punahana told PTI.
(Images are sourced from various WhatsApp forwards. We don't claim their authenticity)
(With PTI inputs)