HIndu teacher shot dead in Jammu and Kashmir in continued targeted killings; opposition says Kashmir normalcy claim belied

Hindu community members in the valley, including Rahul Bhat's family, have accused the BJP-led government of making young Kashmiri Hindus "cannon fodder" in the name of rehabilitation of the community. They have also said the incident has shattered their dream of resettling permanently in the valley.

May 31, 2022
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Targeted attacks on minorities continued in  Jammu and Kashmir when terrorists shot dead a Hindu school teacher in Kulgam district. Rajjni Bala, 36, sustained injuries when terrorists fired at her at a school in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam where she was posted as a teacher, police said. She was critically injured and rushed to the hospital where doctors declared her dead on arrival.  


National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the attack on the teacher a "despicable" act.

"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," Abdullah added.

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti, another former chief minister said despite the government's claims of normalcy in Kashmir, targeted killings were on the rise.

"Despite GOIs (Government of India) fake claims about Kashmir being normal, it's obvious that targeted civilian killings are on the rise & a deep cause of concern. Condemn this act of cowardice which sadly plays into the vicious anti-Muslim narrative spun by BJP," she tweeted.

Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference leader 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.

Recently, a government employee Rahul Bhat was shot dead by terrorists inside his office in central Kashmir's Budgam district triggering massive protests in the region by Kashmiri Pandits who belong to the minority Hindu community who are long-time residents of Kashmir.  Hindu community members in the valley, including Rahul Bhat's family, have accused the BJP-led government of making young Kashmiri Hindus "cannon fodder" in the name of rehabilitation of the community. They have also said the incident has shattered their dream of resettling permanently in the valley.

Barely a week ago, Amreen Bhat, a 35-year-old social media influencer, was shot dead by terrorists in the Budgam district. A 10-year-old, the woman's nephew, was also injured in the attack. The attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, police had said.

This is the seventh targeted killing in Kashmir this month. While three of the victims were off-duty policemen, four were civilians.

"You (BJP) have formulated a plan to get young Kashmiri Pandits killed in the name of giving them jobs and rehabilitating them," Soon Nath Bhat, a relative of Rahul Bhat had said. Such people are "sitting ducks" for terrorists who are using them for "target practice", he said.

In recent shootouts, security forces have said they have killed 26 "foreign terrorists" affiliated with terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad in Jammu and Kashmir during the first five months of the year, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar had said.

(SAM)

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