Woman’s Death During ‘Night Raid’ Sparks Protest

Srinagar: Protests broke out Thursday in Habak area of this capital city after a woman died of heart attack allegedly after government forces carried out a nocturnal raid at her house, even as the police said they were looking into the matter.

According to the reports, scores of people, including women and children hit the streets in Mirakshah colony in Habak on Thursday morning and staged a protest over the death of an elderly woman allegedly after government forces raided her house and tried to arrest her son.

The slogan shouting protesters, including the family of the deceased woman, demanded stern action against police personnel who were part of it.

“I along with my mother used to sleep in a particular room. There was some knocking sound outside our residence and I informed my mother accordingly. I opened the door and saw policemen. They pushed me aside and entered inside,” daughter of the woman told reporters at the spot.

“Then they asked for my brother and told me that they want to interrogate him. I told them he was sleeping and was not keeping well from yesterday. Some of them (policemen) in the meanwhile went upstairs and carried searches,” she said, adding, “Then they took my brother but my father did not let them take him and told them to take him along also. Then they went outside and my mother fell on Varanda. A policeman told our relative (a woman) to take care of her and she responded that my mother is no more. Soon after hearing the same, they left my brother and fled. They took away his mobile.”

Javed Ahmad, the deceased woman’s son said the police came to his house around 2:30 am.

“They were talking to my father outside while I was sleeping. They woke me up and sought my phone. I gave them and showed them the pattern,” he said, adding, “There was my laptop. First they tried to take it along but then told me to leave it there. My father and mother held me up and took me outside. In the meantime my mother had fallen.”

Javed said that policemen told him to come to Zakura police station “even as our house falls within the jurisdiction of police station Nigeen.”

The protesters demanded justice and those guilty be brought to book. “Today it has happened with us, it can happen with somebody else tomorrow,” they said and reiterated demand for justice. “Is police accountable to none and are there no rules to be followed?” they said.

Meanwhile, police refuted the allegations and said that a joint cordon and search operation was carried out at her house and the team left once the searches were conducted.

“On basis of an input, a joint CASO of Police& CRPF was launched in Meerak Shah Colony last night. Search was conducted. The search parties left after completing the search,” police said in a tweet.

“In the morning it was learnt that one lady Mst Khatija Putoo resident of the same locality died because of a heart attack. Police is looking into the matter.” (With GNS inputs)

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