Police investigating mystery hair shearer in northern India – Miami Herald

Police are investigating a mysterious raft of attacks in which Indian women say they’re waking up to find someone has chopped off their hair and left it neatly on their pillows.

A top official in northern Uttar Pradesh state said Friday that police have advised people not to believe or spread rumors following the death of a 65-year-old woman who was beaten by a mob on suspicion that she was a witch responsible for the hair cutting.

Anand Kumar said village committees have been ordered to quash rumors about ghosts or witches cutting off women’s braids. Police are investigating the claims, he said.

Similar complaints have come from neighboring Haryana and Delhi suburbs, police officials said. They have spread fear that the hair could be used to cast spells. In some places in Uttar Pradesh, parents were keeping children indoors after school.

In the state capital, Lucknow, police said a rumor began last week about someone cutting off the hair of women.