Pulwama woman dies of teargas suffocation

Raja’s son Ghulam Muhammad Kumar said the family members found her unconscious in her room and at first believed that she had been hit by a bullet. He said the air in the room was thick with teargas.

Irfan Amin Malik
Chakoora (Pulwama), Publish Date: Mar 19 2018 12:56AM | Updated Date: Mar 19 2018 12:56AM
Pulwama woman dies of teargas suffocationFile Photo

An elderly woman died allegedly of suffocation caused by teargas in Chakoora village in Pulwama district on Saturday. 

Raja Begum, 63, wife of Abdul Samad Kumar died during a cordon and search operation in Kral Mohalla, Chakoora, her family members said. A clash had erupted between government forces and local youths during the operation. The forces fired scores of teargas canisters to break the protest.

Raja’s son Ghulam Muhammad Kumar said the family members found her unconscious in her room and at first believed that she had been hit by a bullet. He said the air in the room was thick with teargas.

“We took her to the sub-district hospital Bijbehara, where she was declared dead on arrival,” he said.

However, Pulwama senior superintendent of police Mohammad Aslam Choudary said there is no connection between the CASO and Raja’s death.

“The operation in the village was called off at 8:15pm. The woman has died at 9:15 pm,” he said.

Medical superintendent of the hospital Dr Showkat Ahmad said, “There were no injury marks on her body. We could have ascertained the cause of her death clearly if her relatives had allowed us to conduct an autopsy. They brought her body around 10pm and immediately took her away.”

As the word about woman’s death spread, massive protests erupted at her native village in Chakoora. Protesters accused the government forces of resorting to indiscriminate use of sound grenades and teargas canisters.

On Sunday morning, scores of people visited Chakoora to participate in Raja’s funeral.

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