More than a dozen women living in the Indian capital New Delhi and surrounding cities or villages have recently encountered mysterious incidents of hair chopping.
The incident first came to light in New Delhi about two days ago when a few women complained that their braids were chopped off while they were either asleep or unconscious.
By Tuesday (1 August), about 15 more women in Delhi, Mathura and other nearby villages had reported similar incidents. Police in the national capital has already filed a complaint against the unknown miscreant or miscreants.
The Delhi police said that a 50-year-old stated in her complaint that she first felt a headache and lost consciousness. Later, her daughter-in-law noticed her hair on the floor. "I am still shocked and scared," the woman told police, according to the Times of India newspaper.
In another incident in Mathura district in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state, a victim said she saw a woman with "big teeth" approaching her before she became unconscious. Four more similar cases have been reported in the city. However, Mathura police have not yet filed a complaint.
Swapnil Mamgain, senior superintendent of police for the city, blamed anti-social elements who he said were trying to create panic.
Around 10 cases of the mysterious hair chopping have also been reported in Gurugram - located 32km from New Delhi. Police have urged people to stop creating panic. "We are investigating and appeal to the people not to create a panic," Sumit Kuhar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Gurugram, said.
A resident of Sector 4 in Gurugram city told police that she lost her braids on Monday (31 July) night while she was asleep, while another woman from a rural part of Gurugram had to be admitted to a hospital after she sensed someone pressing on her throat and cutting off her locks.
A teenage girl Neha noticed her chopped hair on Tuesday while getting ready for school. She too had to be given medical aid following the shocking incident, the paper reported.
The victims who have reported this unusual incident belong to different ages and hail from different cities or villages in the northern belt, mainly the National Capital Region.
Police are yet to find any clue in the case and have urged people with any information related to the incident to come forward and inform the police.