Palhalan woman battling eye injuries at hospital

Palhalan woman battling eye injuries at hospital
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Alleges forces were coercing family to vote

Srinagar: The family of Raja Begum, 45, says she had close shave with death on Thursday after police and CRPF personnel allegedly barged into their house and thrashed her. She alleged forces were coercing the family to vote which it refused and faced their wrath.
Police have denied the allegations.
Resident of Palhalan village in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Raja is now battling serious eye damage as a police officer, she alleged, hit her with gun butts.
“I was not a voter. I have never voted in my life,” she said.
“Police and CRPF personnel led by a DSP rank officer were forcing us to vote which I refused. This infuriated the officer and he started abusing me. Then he pushed me down and hit me with gun butts,” she said.
Raja is being treated at Ophthalmology ward of SMHS Hospital as doctors are uncertain about the recovery in her vision.
“Raja may not be able to see properly with her right eye as it is damaged seriously,” a doctor at SMHS Hospital said.
“We are assessing her situation. Let’s hope her eyesight recovers completely. But this time we can’t say with surety,” he said.
According to the family, Raja was busy in a home-based band saw mill when forces barged inside and started dragging the members for voting.
“My mother resisted and confronted them. But, the forces overpowered her and an officer pushed her down with a pellet gun. When she was on the ground the officer again hit her with the short gun. This time it struck her on the right eye leaving it damaged. She was unconscious after that,” Kasir Ahmad, her son told Kashmir Reader.
He said some people spread rumours that a woman voter was hit with pellets in Palhalan. But the family said it was far from truth because she was neither a voter nor hit by pellets.
“It is simple case of harassment and coercing by forces,” Ahmad said.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer Pattan Mashkoor Ahmad refuted the allegations levelled by the family and said that there was intense stone pelting going on in the area during which the woman fell down and got injured.
“People who engage in stone pelting then accuse police of high handedness. They level serious allegations whenever they are caught. Some people even accused us of using live bullets,” he said.
Ahmad said he was handling the law and order situation himself in the area when the situation was tense.
“The women got injured after she fell down in the chaos and confusion. I am not aware what she is alleging now. We have registered an FIR in stone pelting case also,” the SDPO said.