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Killings aimed at spreading fear, damaging communal harmony: DGP

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Srinagar: The targeted killing of civilians, particularly minorities, in Kashmir is aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear and damaging age-old communal harmony, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said after two teachers were shot dead by militants on Thursday.

“The people who are targeting humanity, brotherhood and local ethos and values will be unmasked soon,” Singh told reporters at the site of the latest attack — the Government Boys Higher Secondary School at Sangam, Eidgah, here.

“The incidents of targeting civilians in Kashmir since a few days are barbaric. Innocent people who are working for the society and have nothing to do with anyone are being targeted. This is an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear and to give it a communal colour so as to damage the communal harmony in Kashmir,” the Director General of Police (DGP) said.

The killing of the teachers took the number of civilians killed in the Kashmir Valley in the last five days to seven, including four from the Valley’s minority communities. Six of those were killed in the city.

“We regret the back-to-back attacks in which civilians have been killed. We are working on the previous cases and the Srinagar police has got many clues and we will soon get the people behind such terror and barbaric attacks…. I am sure the police will be able to unmask them soon,” he said.

Asserting that the attacks were an attempt to defame the Muslim community of Kashmir, Singh said that “the terrorists are acting on the directions of Pakistan to put hurdles in the way of peace in the valley”.

“This is an attempt to defame local Muslims of Kashmir. It is a conspiracy to target those who have come here for earning bread and butter. It is a conspiracy to damage the age-old tradition of communal harmony and brotherhood in Kashmir.

“Terrorists are terrorists and they are acting on the directions of the agencies across (the border) in Pakistan so that Kashmir is kept disturbed and hurdles are put in the way of peace in Kashmir. I am hopeful that people in Kashmir will not let this conspiracy succeed. We will work together and defeat their purpose,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said “during the year 2021, so far 28 civilians have been killed by terrorists.”

Out of 28, five persons belong to local Hindu/Sikh community and two non-local Hindu labourers.

“Due to killing of huge number of terrorists of all outfits specially their leaderships, destruction of their support structures and continuous and effective maintenance of law and order, terrorists’ handlers  across have got frustrated and changed their strategy and started targeting unarmed policemen, innocent civilians, politicians and now innocent civilians from minority communities including woman,” he said.

“In all such cases terrorists have been using pistols. These acts are committed by newly recruited terrorists or those who are about to join terrorist’s rank,” the IGP said.

“In some cases, OGWs have been found directly involved. J&K Police is working hard and we are identifying all such part-time/hybrid terrorists and strictest action shall be taken against them.

“We have received several leads and are working on it. We have also been launching operations along with security forces. We appeal to general public specially minority communities not to panic. We have been maintaining peace and secured environment and will continue to do so,” the IGP said.

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