Fearful Chhawla villagers turn to charms
With the mysterious chopping of braids being reported in outer Delhi's Chhawla area, the locals and the police have been left confounded by the rather bizarre case.
With no credible explanation being given for the case, the locals have been quick to attribute it to supernatural forces like "evil spirits" and "witchcraft".
With Kanganheri village in the throes of fear, many residents have started to put up lemon and chilies charms right outside their houses. Since the incident was reported and spread like wild fire, hand impressions of Mehendi on the entry of several households to "ward off evil" were seen.
Rohit, the son of the 55-year-old who was the first victim in the case has reported that his mother has not stepped out of the house.
"She has been inside her bedroom for a good part of the day. She is traumatised after her hair was found snipped and still feels that sharp pain," he said.
The people have been afraid to step out of their homes. The women are especially scared ever since they found out about this.
"People in these parts always believed in evil spirits. Their worst fears have come true and many of them are rushing to plant neem saplings outside their houses and also have started hanging charms to ward off evil," said Sushil, a resident who supplies milk in the locality.
The locals are of the view that such measures will help them in warding off evil, however, there are many who also started to organize round the clock vigils at the locality to avert any "untoward incident".
"The men in the area have started to talk about organizing night vigils in the area. They are still trying to get their head around the fact that an invisible force cut the woman's hair. They do not want to take any chances," Rohit added.
The police have been trying to convince the villagers that this was not a superstitious incident and are pulling all stops to make the point.
However, the cops also seem confused with the incidents where the victims only have their braid chopped off without ransacking the house.
"This is not witchcraft and we will find out what actually happened.
"We have sent the hair samples to forensics and have intensified patrolling in the area," said DCP (south west) Surender Kumar.