Killing Evokes Condemnation, Trigger Protests By KP Employees
Srinagar- Unidentified militants on Tuesday shot dead a female teacher from Samba near her school in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, sparking off protests by the Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the Prime Minister’s package.
The incident occurred around 10:30 am Tuesday, when unidentified militants opened fire from close range at 36-year-old Rajni Bala near the Government High School Gopalpora, where she was posted, a police spokesperson said.
Bala, who received multiple gunshot injuries in the attack, was removed to the district hospital, Kulgam by her colleagues for treatment. However, before the doctors could operate upon her, she succumbed to her injuries.
According to officials, Bala was putting up at Chawalgam village of the district. She is the second non-Muslim government employee to be killed this month.
Earlier on May 12, Rahul Bhat, a clerk at the Tehsil office Chadoora was shot dead by militants.
Last Wednesday, Kashmiri TV actor Amreen Bhat was killed by militants in the same area (Chadoora), while her 10-year-old nephew was injured in the attack.
According to the reports, soon after the attack on Bala, police and army launched a cordon and search operation in the area to nab the attackers. The joint team also questioned villagers about the identity of the assailants.
“Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and initiated investigation. Officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of the terror crime and terrorists involved in this gruesome terror crime will be soon identified and neutralized. The whole area has been cordoned off with the help of reinforcement and search in the area is going on,” police spokesperson said.
Bala’s killing also evoked strong condemnation from political parties and set off protests as well by the Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the PM’s special package.
“Very sad. This is yet another targeted killing in a long list of recent attacks directed at unarmed civilians. Words of condemnation & condolence ring hollow as do the assurances of the government that they will not rest till situation normalises. May the deceased rest in peace,” National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted.
“Rajni was from Samba District of Jammu province. A government teacher working in Kulgam area of South Kashmir, she lost her life in a despicable targeted attack. My heart goes out to her husband Raj Kumar & the rest of her family. Another home irreparably damaged by violence,” he added.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said despite the Centre’s claims of normalcy in Kashmir, targeted killings were on the rise.
“Despite GOIs fake claims about Kashmir being normal its obvious that targeted civilian killings are on the rise & a deep cause of concern (sic). Condemn this act of cowardice which sadly plays into the vicious anti Muslim narrative spun by BJP,” she tweeted.
Sajad Lone also condemned the killing, saying cowardice has yet again plummeted to shameless depths.
“A teacher, an innocent woman hailing from Samba, has been shot dead in Kulgam. May her soul rest in peace,” he said.
Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also condemned the attack.
“I am pained to learn about the heart wrenching incidents of targeted killing of two women in Kashmir within one week, Amreen Bhat and Rajani Bala. I strongly condemn the killing of Rajani Bala,” Azad tweeted.
“I urge the administration to take stringent measures to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians. I express my sympathies with the bereaved families,” he added.
CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami termed the killing of the teacher tragic and unfortunate .
This is yet another addition to the long list of civilian killings. There seems to be no end to the bloodletting. The administration must post these employees in safer places and provide them with secure accommodations,” he said.
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