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Posted at: Aug 13, 2017, 1:59 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2017, 3:58 PM (IST)

Now, ‘lock rapists’ strike in Gujarat

In 3 days, two dozen incidents reported from state
Now, ‘lock rapists’ strike in Gujarat

Manas Dasgupta

Ahmedabad, August 12

Some 300 years after Alexander Pope wrote his famous mock-heroic “The Rape of the Lock”, incidents of women losing their long hair without their knowledge has created scare among the women in Gujarat.

These have forced the state government to sit up and take note of the happenings.

After similar incidents in some northern states, the invisible “lock rapists” seem to have come to Gujarat. 

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During the past three days, nearly two dozen incidents of someone neatly cutting the hair of women apparently with a pair of scissors have been reported from various parts of the state. 

The incidents are not confined to a particular area or region, but spread over the entire length and breadth of the state from Kutch to Bulsar, covering the rural, semi-urban and even major cities like Ahmedabad.

While Ahmedabad city reported two such incidents today, Kheralu town in Mehsana district reported four such incidents in past two days. 

Women of different age group and with different hair styles have suffered the damage. While some women complained of having lost their bunch of hair in the night, some claimed that someone cut their hair during daytime but without them noticing the culprit.

So scared are the women that they aren’t venturing out in the open without tightly covering their heads. On this, the Congress lambasted the state government for not taking the incidents seriously. 

State Congress spokesman Manish Doshi said the state government was showing total lack of concern for women who had been subjected to such harassment from unknown quarters. 

Worried about losing women’s votes in the coming state Assembly elections, the BJP government has asked the CID (crime) to look into the matter, Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said.

The police have constituted a team headed by a deputy superintendent of police and incorporating a number of policewomen as well as a team of psychiatrists to investigate each incident and to find out any common link, Jadeja said. The police believe that some local hooligans are trying to take advantage of the situation to spread scare among the women. 

The government has warned of strict penal action against all such women and their relatives if any incidents are found to be baseless and deliberately engineered to spread rumour and scare among the people. 

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