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Hair chopping mystery: Daughter scared, Delhi cop says don’t spread ghost tales

DCP MN Tiwari’s eight-year-old daughter asked him to lock doors out of fear of ‘fantom barber’, prompting him to ask people to not spread rumours.

delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2017 14:08 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hair chopping,Najafgarh,Supernatural stories
Believing that something supernatural behind the chopping of hair, villagers in Delhi have put hand imprints on the walls, hung lemon and chillies on the door and organised hawans to ward off the ‘evil’. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

Multiple cases of women’s braids being mysteriously chopped off have left many Delhi villagers hanging nimbu-mirchi on their doors and performing hawans. Police officers, however, are crying hoarse that there is no ghost in town.

A DCP on Thursday spoke about his eight-year-old daughter’s turmoil on hearing the stories of ‘mysterious’ hair chopping. ‘Disturbed’ by what his daughter had undergone, DCP (Outer Delhi) MN Tiwari made an appeal to the media not to publicise any ‘supernatural’ angle to the cases of hair chopping in his district.

The outer district comprises areas such as Najafgarh, Ranhola, Aman Vihar, Mangolpuri and Mundka. Since July 30, women in at least four villages — Ranhola and Najafgarh in outer Delhi and Palam and Chhawla in southwest Delhi — have reported that they found their braids chopped off when they woke up from sleep.

Villagers started guarding themselves against the unknown ‘evil’ by putting hand imprints on their outer walls, invoking gods and keeping 24-hour vigil.

Tiwari said he was shocked when his daughter asked him to close the doors and windows of their house in west Delhi on Wednesday. “My daughter heard the recent stories about supernatural powers chopping off women’s hair in Delhi. But when she heard that even I had received such a complaint, she was scared that her hair could be chopped off too,” Tiwari told Hindustan Times on Thursday.

“If a child who lives with a police officer can start believing in such falsehood, what can be expected of children? Are we replacing the scientific temperament of our children with such beliefs?” the DCP added. Tiwari said it took him 30 minutes to explain to his daughter that there are no supernatural elements like ghosts and witches in the world.

Tiwari’s conviction stems from investigation into one such complaint made in his district on Wednesday morning. In an alleged incident, which occurred early on Wednesday, a 45-year-old woman in Ranhola fell unconscious inside her washroom and woke up to find her braids cut off.

“But I got the case thoroughly investigated and we could not to verify the woman’s complaint. Logic says when there is no sign of any break-in into her house locked from inside, how can an outsider be blamed for it? There is no supernatural angle to that incident,” said Tiwari.

He said it was possible that such incidents were being fabricated to seek media attention. When a similar case involving another middle-aged woman emerged in Najafgarh in the early hours of Thursday, the DCP shot down that allegation too, saying the house was locked from inside and there were five other family members inside.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 14:03 IST