Kulgam, May 31 A Hindu teacher was shot dead by militants at Gopalpora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam on Tuesday, police said.
A police official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that militants fired at a female teacher from a close range outside the High School Gopalpora Kulgam, leaving her severely wounded.
“She was immediately shifted to district hospital Kulgam where doctors declared her brought dead. The teacher was shot in her head,” the official said. The slain was identified as 36-year-old Rajni Bala, a teacher by profession from Badheri area of Samba district of Jammu.
She was recruited under the Schedule Caste (SC) quota five-years ago. She along with her husband were posted in Goplapora area of Kulgam and were living in a rented accommodation in Chawalgaam area of Kulgam.
Immediately after the attack, security officials including police, CRPF, and the army rushed to the area to take stock of the situation.
The security forces personnel laid siege around the area and launched a cordon and search operation to track down the militants responsible for the attack.
A police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that at about 10:35 am, police received information about a crime incident near Government High School Gopalpora area of Kulgam district where militants had fired upon a Hindu lady teacher identified as Rajni Bala, 36-year-old, wife of Raj Kumar, resident of Samba, Jammu (at present Chawalgam Kulgam).
“She had received critical gunshot injuries and was evacuated to hospital however, she succumbed,” the police spokesman said.
Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and initiated investigation. “Officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of the crime and militants involved in this gruesome crime will be soon identified and neutralized.
“The whole area has been cordoned off with the help of reinforcement and search in the area is going on,” the spokesman said. “This is the seventh targeted killing in Kashmir in the month. While three of the victims were off-duty policeman, four were civilians which includes a Kashmiri Pandit employee, a woman artist, a wine shop employee.”
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj condemned the killing of a Hindu woman teacher by “terrorists inside a government school in Kulgam.” The LG said that the assailants will be given an “unforgettable response.”
“Terrorist attack on a school teacher Rajni Bala is the most reprehensible act. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Terrorists and their sympathisers will be given unforgettable response for dastardly attack,” the Jammu and Kashmir LG tweeted.
Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also condemned the killing of the school teacher in Kulgam.
“I am pained to learn about the heart wrenching incidents of targeted killing of two women in Kashmir within one week, Amreen Bhat and Rajani Bala. I strongly condemn the killing of Rajani Bala,” Azad tweeted.
“I urge the administration to take stringent measures to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians. I express my sympathies with the bereaved families,” he added.
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and vice president of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Omar Abdullah said, “A government teacher working in Kulgam area of South Kashmir, she lost her life in a despicable targeted attack.”
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said despite the Centre’s claims of normalcy in Kashmir, targeted killings were on the rise. “Despite GOIs fake claims about Kashmir being normal, it’s obvious that targeted civilian killings are on the rise & a deep cause of concern (sic). Condemn this act of cowardice which sadly plays into the vicious anti-Muslim narrative spun by BJP,” she tweeted—(KNO)