Senseless & endless violence: Two teachers shot dead in Srinagar
Killings evoke widespread condemnation
Srinagar: Two government school teachers, including a woman, were shot dead by militants in Eidgah area of the city on Thursday, police said.
The killing of the teachers, which drew widespread condemnation, took the number of civilians killed in the last five days in Kashmir Valley to seven, including four from the minorities.
“At about 11.15 am, terrorists shot dead two school teachers at Sangam Eidgah in Srinagar district,” a police official said. He said one of the two slain persons is a woman.
The deceased have been identified as Supinder Kour, resident of Rengipora Beerwah, presently at Alochi Bagh area of the city here, and Deepak Chand, a resident of Jammu, police said. While Kour was Principal at Government Boys School, Sangam, Chand was a teacher there.
Police said it has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law.
“Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime,” it said.
The latest killing has taken the number of civilians shot dead in the Valley to seven, including six in the city, over the past five days.
On Saturday, Majid Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Chattabal Srinagar, was shot dead at Karan Nagar. Later that night, another civilian Mohammad Shafi Dar, resident of Batamaloo, was shot at and injured at SD Colony Batamaloo. He succumbed to injuries a few hours later.
On Tuesday, three civilians including Makhan Lal Bindroo, owner of Srinagar’s prominent pharmacy, were shot dead within two hours in separate incidents in Srinagar and Bandipora districts of Kashmir.
Bindroo, owner of Bindroo Medicate, was shot dead by the assailants from point-blank range while he was at his pharmacy.
Within an hour, in Hawal area of the city a non-local street vendor was killed in Lal Bazar (Hawal) area of downtown Srinagar.
The vendor was shot at point blank range and died on the spot. The victim was identified as Virender Paswan of Bihar.
Within minutes of the second killing, a cab driver Mohammad Shafi Lone was shot at and killed at Naidkhai in Bandipora district in north Kashmir.
Meanwhile, political parties have condemned the killing of the two teachers.
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed shock at the killing of a woman principal and a teacher. “Extremely shocked to hear about the cowardly killing of the principal and teacher of Govt. Boys Higher Secondary School and other civilians in Srinagar, #Kashmir by forces of terror,” the minister said.
He said “these attacks on innocent civilians by the radicals not only exposes the hollowness of their beliefs, it also reveals the boiling frustrations of their masters across the border due to the normalcy in the valley. Perpetrators of terror will be dealt with an iron hand.”
National Conference president, Member Parliament from Srinagar Dr. Farooq Abdullah said, “I condemn the dastardly killings unreservedly and express my unison with the families of victims in their hour of grief and loss. The spurt in the incidents of targeted killings also raise a big question mark on the security scenario in Kashmir, particularly in Srinagar city. The perpetrators, who have committed this heinous act, have no religion. No religion condones violence. Nothing justifies such bloodshed,” he said.
While describing the killings as cold-blooded murder which cannot be compensated by anything, he said, “I express heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray to Almighty to give the bereaved family the strength to bear the loss in this hour of grief.”
“Shocking news coming in again from Srinagar. Another set of targeted killings, this time of two teachers in a Govt school in Idgah area of the city. Words of condemnation are not enough for this inhuman act of terror but I pray for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace,” National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah said on Twitter.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti said the Centre’s claims of building a ‘Naya Kashmir’ has actually turned it into a hellhole.
“Disturbing to see the deteriorating situation in Kashmir where a minuscule minority is the latest target. GOI’s claims of building a Naya Kashmir has actually turned it into a hellhole. It’s sole interest is to use Kashmir as a milch cow for its electoral interests,” she wrote on Twitter.
Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone said it is important to understand that terrorists have no religion.
“Reports of cowardice emerging. Two teachers shot dead. It is important to understand that terrorists have no religion. Muslims have been killed too. I personally had a killing in my family. This is a lunatic fringe which is a curse for Kashmir. May Allah rid us of this curse,” Lone said in a tweet.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari said there is need to ponder whether ground and human intelligence had failed or had the enemy become sharper and more organised.
“Any further delay in the revival of grassroots democracy will only lead us to mayhem, which we have started witnessing,” Bukhari said.
CPI(M) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami said that the spree of killings had shocked Kashmiri society. “Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs are part and parcel of the local shared history, and cultural ethos. Protecting the pluralistic visage of J&K must be the top agenda of every Kashmiri,” he said in a statement.
The Jammu and Kashmir Congress expressed grave concern over the rising incidents of selective and targeted killings in Kashmir.
Describing the killings as very unfortunate and highly condemnable, JKPCC in a statement said it has caused sense of insecurity and fear in the minds of innocent civilians, especially minority community and non-locals.
It said “Kashmiri Pandits who stayed back in the valley and remained there through the period of militancy are now getting killed by the hands of terrorists when the central government and the UT administration claim normalcy has returned and situation was under control.
“The government must wake up to the situation and ensure the safety and security of the innocent people, especially the minority community who are feeling more unsafe now,” it said.
“The situation is alarming and reverting towards 1990s. The government should claim less and act more to ensure the safety and security of innocent people,” it said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) J&K spokesman Altaf Thakur said the killing of unarmed teachers, who have nothing to do with politics, is nothing “but purely an inhuman act and frustration”.
“Those who killed the two teachers have no religion. These teachers were teaching students, what was their fault,” Thakur said.
He said the cowardly act deserves the highest form of condemnation.
“Killing of unarmed civilians can never be justified as no religion allows to kill innocents,” the BJP spokesman said, as he expressed sympathies with the families of the slain teachers.
“APSCC strongly condemns the killing of two government teachers Supinder Kaur and Deepak Chand at Eidgah in downtown Srinagar on Thursday,” APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said in a statement.
He said the killings are part of a conspiracy to create a wedge among the majority and minority communities living in the Kashmir Valley.
Raina asked people to be vigilant about the elements who want to exploit the situation for their own ulterior political motives.
“The Sikh youth who are working in different government departments should boycott their duties and sit at their homes as long as their security is not ensured by the government,” he said.
Raina also asked members of the majority Muslim community to intervene and secure the lives of the minority community members.