The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday said that they had arrested 12 people accused of trying to immolate a man who they suspected to be a braid chopper, ANI reported. “The First Information Report was filed yesterday [Friday],” Sopore Senior Superintendent of Police Harmeet Singh said. “The 12 accused were identified by videos of the incident on social media. Some of them were involved in stone-pelting.”

A mob, which Singh had described as “500-800 people”, had surrounded a disabled man and tried to set him ablaze on Friday for allegedly chopping the braids of women. They also tried to run him over with a tractor. The police rescued Waseem Ahmad, a resident of Baramulla’s Shrakwara area, and took him to a hospital in Srinagar. He is said to be in critical condition.

Reports of braid chopping have triggered protests across the state. Twelve people were injured after security forces opened fire at protestors in Walarhama area of Pahalgam on Wednesday. On October 17, residents of Kupwara district assaulted a soldier, suspecting him to be involved in a braid chopping incident. There have been over 100 reports of such incidents from Kashmir so far, the police have said, adding that none of the women have submitted their hair samples to the police.