Teacher shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam

Protests staged against targeted killing
Teacher shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam
Security personnel patrol near a site after a school teacher, was shot dead by the militants at the Gopalpora area, in Kulgam on Tuesday. ANI

Srinagar: A woman school teacher from the minority community was shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam town of south Kashmir on Tuesday morning, while a hunt has been launched to track down the attackers.

This is the seventh targeted killing in Kashmir this month. People from the minority community staged protests against the incident at various places of Kashmir on Tuesday.

Police identified the slain teacher as Rajni Bala (36), wife of Raj Kumar, resident of Kathua district of Jammu division. The incident took place outside Government High School Gopalpora at 10.35 am on Tuesday.

“Terrorists fired upon one woman teacher at High School Gopalpora area of Kulgam. In this terror incident, she has received critical gunshot injuries. Being shifted to hospital. Area has been cordoned off. Further details shall follow.@JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted soon after the incident.

Rajni was shifted to hospital but she succumbed to her injuries. “KulgamTerrorIncidentUpdate: Injured lady teacher, a Hindu & resident of Samba (Jammu division) succumbed to her injuries. Terrorists involved in this gruesome terror crime will be soon identified & neutralised.@JmuKmrPolice,” Police said in another Tweet.

Police officials said that at least two terrorists alighted from orchard near the school gate and opened fire on Rajni from point blank range. They said Rajni received bullets in her head.

Officials said Rajni was teaching in the school since 2017 and she was appointed under Schedule Caste category. Her husband Raj Kumar, also a school teacher, is posted in village Mirhama in the same district. He too has been appointed under Schedule Caste category in 2017.

Rajni’s husband, police officials said, dropped her on the main road of the school on Tuesday morning and as she entered the lane, two terrorists shot her from a close range with a pistol.

“There was a sound like that of a firecrackers and we saw kids shouting,” school teachers said, adding that when they reached the spot, Rajni was lying there injured.

After the incident, security forces that included Police, Army and CRPF cordoned off the area and carried out a thorough search operation. However, nobody was arrested and nothing was found.

“At about 10:35 am, Police received information about a terror crime incident near Government High School Gopalpora area of Kulgam district where terrorists had fired upon a Hindu lady teacher identified as Rajni Bala, 36 years old, wife of Raj Kumar resident of Samba, Jammu (A/P Chawalgam Kulgam),” read a statement of police issued soon after the incident. “ In this terror crime incident she had received critical gunshot injuries and was evacuated to hospital however, she succumbed to her injuries.”

“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 neutralised,” it added.

On May 12, Rahul Bhat, a revenue official was shot dead by terrorists inside his office in Budgam district triggering massive protests in J&K. Bhat was gunned down by terrorists inside the Tehsil office in Chadoora town. He had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11.

Less than week after Rahul Bhat, Amreen Bhat (35), a TV artiste and social media influencer, was shot dead by terrorists in the Budgam district. Her 10-year-old nephew was also injured in the attack. The attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, police had said. The incident triggered widespread protests in various parts of the valley even the people from minorities blocked roads.

"We want justice. Down with killers,” were the slogans being raised by minority community members. They demanded that the government should do something about targeted killings.

There were reports of protests from Vessu area of Qazigund, Sheikhpora Budgam, Srinagar city, Sonwar Srinagar, Handwara and Baramulla. The protesting minority community members said that they will be protesting until their demands were not met with. They said that they are demanding relocation and are protesting for the last 21 days. “Till now the administration has not responded and there is no security for us in Kashmir,” said protestors at Sheikpora Budgam Pandit migrant camp .

The protestors said that if the administration did not budge, then they would conduct mass migration. “All minorities with Kashmiri Pandits will leave Kashmir and relocate to Jammu,” the protestors added.

The police and security forces have been on high alert amid increasing cases of targeted killings. Earlier on Tuesday, two terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Pulwama district, the police said. According to them, one of the terrorists killed was involved in civilian killings.

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