Lady teacher from Samba shot dead in J&K’s Kulgam

The killing of the woman, belonging to the minority community, has again stoked protests by Kashmiri Pandits while local politicians have condemned the civilian killing in unequivocal terms

Unknown gunmen, suspected of being militants, shot and killed a female teacher in Gopalpora village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday.

According to reports, gunmen opened fire on the lady, identified as Rajni Bala from Badri region of Jammu’s Samba district. While being shifted for treatment to District Hospital Kulgam, she died on the way and was declared dead at the hospital.

Later, security forces sealed off the entire village in an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators. However, no arrests have been made so far.

Pertinently, the slain woman, a teacher by profession, was posted at High School Gopalpora. She had been working in Kashmir under the SC category under Order №559 since June 18, 2009, and was meant to be deputed in the Chawalgam Education Zone under the Annual Transfer Drive, according to official sources.

Her husband Rajkumar is also working as a teacher in a school in Mirhama area of Kulgam.

Local politicians strong condemn the civilian killing

The killing evoked strong condemnation from mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

NC vice president Omar Abdullah, while praying for the slain, said that the words of condemnation and condolence ring hollow as do the assurances of the government that they will not rest till the situation normalises. He said that Rajni was killed in a heinous targeted attack, which wrecked another home irreversibly by violence.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said that despite the Government of India’s ‘fake’ claims about Kashmir being normal, it is ‘obvious’ that targeted civilian killings are on the rise and a deep cause of concern. She condemned this ‘act of cowardice’, which, as per the former chief minister, plays into the ‘vicious anti-Muslim narrative spun’ by the BJP.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone, while dubbing the killing as an act of cowardice, said that cowardice plummeted to shameless depths due to the latest civilian killing. “A teacher — an innocent female hailing from Samba — has been shot dead in Kulgam. May her soul rest in peace.”

Jammu Kashmir Apni Party President Syed Altaf Bukhari expressed his deep sense of grief over the killing. In a statement, Bukhari has termed the killing a heinous crime.

CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami also termed the killing of the woman teacher as tragic and unfortunate. In a statement, Tarigami said that this is yet another addition to the long list of civilian killings. “There seems no end to the bloodletting.”

Kashmiri Pandits protest the lady teacher’s killing

Meanwhile, protests broke out in different areas of the valley against the killing.

Kashmiri Pandits took to the streets in Indira Nagar area of Srinagar and blocked the highway at BB Cantt against the Samba teacher’s killing. The protester raised slogans against the killing and demanded justice. They said the government should relocate them to Jammu or any other part of India as they were no longer safe in Kashmir.

“We want justice. The government should do something about targeted killings. We will wait for only 24 hours and then we will start mass migration,” an angry protestor warned.

LG Manoj Sinha reiterates ‘unforgettable response’ to militancy

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the attack and said that militants and their sympathizers will be given an unforgettable response for these attacks on civilians.

“Terrorist attack on a school teacher Rajni Bala is the most reprehensible act. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Terrorists and their sympathizers will be given an unforgettable response for the dastardly attack,” Sinha said.

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