The soldier was the latest victim of mob frenzy that has also brought people back to the streets in protest.
Over the last few weeks, a group of foreign tourists, an 18-year-old out to meet his girlfriend and two labourers are among people beaten up on a similar suspicion.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister has called the over 100 reported incidents of braid chopping an attempt to "create mass hysteria" and vowed to get to the bottom of it.
There has been no breakthrough yet in multiple police probes despite Rs 6 lakh reward for the arrest of the braid choppers.
Top police officers, however, suspect that Kashmiri separatists, who had blamed security forces for the incidents and called for a shutdown earlier this month, were contributing to the sense of insecurity over the mysterious plaint slashers.
Last week, six men were, however, arrested in downtown Srinagar's Batamaloo locality for rumour mongering and instigating the public to pelt stones on security personnel to protest the braid chopping incidents. In the state's Doda district, the administration has banned entry of outsiders without police permission for two months to avoid braid chopping incidents.
Munir Ahmad Khan, Kashmir's top police officer, had earlier told NDTV that the "mass hysteria" has affected anti-terrorist operations carried out by the police too, given how the police had to probe the cases.
"Our anti-militancy operations, our intelligence gathering is suffering - and suffering very badly," he said.
In August, an epidemic of "braid-chopping spooked villages in and around Gurgaon near Delhi. Some villages held special prayer sessions to ward off evil spirits and began patrols to protect their women.
(With inputs from PTI)
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