School principal and teacher killed by terrorists in J&K

A teacher in a government school and its principal were shot dead by terrorists in the city’s Eidgah area on Thursday, as a string of targeted attacks against civilians, minorities and outsiders continued in and around Jammu & Kashmir’s capital
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Published on Oct 07, 2021 11:34 PM IST
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By, Srinagar

A teacher in a government school and its principal were shot dead by terrorists in the city’s Eidgah area on Thursday, as a string of targeted attacks against civilians, minorities and outsiders continued in and around Jammu & Kashmir’s capital.

Thus far, five people have been killed by terrorists in three days.

Police said Satinder Kour, the principal of Government High School Eidgah, and a teacher at the school, Deepak Chand, died on the spot when they were fired upon inside the school premises by unknown assailants. Chand was from Jammu, and both he and Kour, a Sikh, lived in Srinagar’s Aolochi Bagh area.

Police said that the militants are aiming to create an atmosphere of fear and that an attempt is being made to give these incidents communal colour.

One of Kaur’s relatives said the two were profiled and then killed. “This is a blot on our Kashmir. For the last three days there have been targeted attacks on the members of the minority community. What was their fault? They have left their home to teach the students.”

The Resistance Front (TRF), which police say is front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the attack on both the teachers and said that Shaheed Gazi Squad carried the attack. A statement circulating on social media from the terror group said the teachers were killed for their role in getting students to participate in the “ function at school on August 15”, India’s independence day.

TRF also claimed responsibility for the killing on Monday of one of Srinagar’s best-known pharmacists, Makhan Lal Bindroo, who refused to leave the erstwhile state even when most Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee.

Monday also saw street vendor Virender Paswan from Bihar’s Bhagalpur, and Muhammad Shafi Lone, a taxi driver and taxi union head, being shot dead at separate places in Srinagar. Since last week, seven civilians have been killed in Srinagar alone. The killings in the city have spread panic and many leaders have raised questions over security in the city.

“After back to back attacks there is panic in city and these attacks has exposed the claims that situation has changed in Kashmir. These incidents indicate that the situation is worrisome,” said Shabir Ahmad a resident of Rajbagh

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday condemned the killing of the two teachers.

“I strongly condemn the barbaric killing of two of our teachers, Supinder Kour and Deepak Chand by terrorists. A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous terror attacks on innocent people,” Sinha said in a tweet.

“The terrorists & their patrons will not succeed in disturbing peace, progress & prosperity of J&K UT. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family, friends and colleagues,” he added.

J&K’s director general of police Dilbag Singh, who visited the spot along with inspector general Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that police has already got some viable leads in the killings of civilians . “Our investigation is underway. We got some leads in the previous attacks on civilians in Srinagar and people responsible for the attacks will be unveiled.”

Singh told reporters that militants are targeting innocent people.

“The aim of the killings is to create atmosphere of fear and attempt is being made to give these incidents communal colour to damage communal brotherhood in Valley. This is being done on the behest of agencies that are based in Pakistan. “

The targeting of Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, and outsiders has created ripples in the respective communities.

All Party Sikh Coordination Committee chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that the killings are part of the conspiracy hatched to create a wedge among the majority and minority communities living in the Kashmir valley. “People should be vigilant about the elements who want to exploit the situation for their own ulterior political motives.” He asked the Sikh youth working in different government departments to boycott their duties and sit at their homes as long as their security is not ensured by the government and also asked members of the majority Muslim community to intervene and secure the lives of minority community members.

In Thursday’s attack, teachers at the school said: “We heard gunshots and attackers were shouting ‘now raise flags’”, an apparent reference to hoisting of national flags in hundreds of government buildings across Jammu and Kashmir on Independence Day. The hoisting of the national flag on August 15 was made mandatory for all government institutions, including schools this year.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said condemnation was not enough for this inhuman act of terror. “Shocking news coming in again from Srinagar. Another set of targeted killings, this time of two teachers in a government 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.”

In a tweet, the People’s Democratic Party of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said: “Terrible news of killing of two teachers in Srinagar coming to fore. When will this dance of death come to an end. Will the administration stop trumpeting the hollow slogans of ‘Normalcy’ now. Deepest condolences with the families.”

Former minister Sajad Lone tweeted: “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.”

Srinagar mayor Junaid Mattu wrote on Twitter: “Heartbroken, devastated and shattered by the news of the brutal killing of two school teachers at a school in Eidgah. No words can express my anger and anguish. My heart goes out to their families. I stand by them in this hour of grief and trauma. Inconsolable tragedy!”

Soon after the attack, security around the city was strengthened and police established checking points at several places.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022