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Panic has gripped the inmates of government-run girl’s orphanage at Shalimar here as unidentified persons have been pelting stones on its building smashing windowpanes for past two days.  

The orphanage Markazi Falahi Itifal is run by Social Welfare department and 23 girls are living there. “Some unidentified persons pelted stones from the backside on during night hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. We got scared and rushed downstairs to save ourselves,” a group of girls said. 

“I am living in the hostel from past nine years, and in all these years I have never felt insecure or threatened here. But now after hearing about the series of incidents of braid chopping, I am scared that my hair too will be cut,” said Zahida ( name changed) an orphan girl who hails from north Kashmir.

A spot visit revealed that window panes of the superintendent’s room and one room on the upper storey where the girls sleep have been smashed.

“The boys’ orphanage is close to ours. Why didn’t anyone hurl stone there. Why are only girls targeted? We fear that the miscreants want to cut our braids,” said a group of girls who have shifted to boys hostel along with other staff members. 

The management of the orphanage has written a letter to the station house officer (SHO), Shalimar to arrange security. 

SHO Nishat, Ashique Hussain said, “I have enhanced patrolling of the Children’s home after visiting the spot.”

Deputy director, Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS), Rashida Akhter, who is holding the additional charge of director Social Welfare Officer said, “we have written to the SHO as well as SSP, Srinagar to provide female security personnel inside the home.”