Climate of fear prevails in Kashmir, 7 targeted killings in May alone

Aside from Rajni Bala, there have been six other instances in the month of May when militants killed in a deliberate and targeted manner, including a Kashmiri Pandit employee, a woman artist, a wine shop employee and three policemen, in six separate targeted attacks in the Valley

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, June 01, 2022, 09:50 AM IST
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Kashmiri Pandits during a massive protest near the Srinagar airport on Tuesday | PTI

As soon as the news regarding the killing of schoolteacher Rajni Bala reached Samba, people in large numbers gathered to stage a protest, raising slogans against the government for failing to check the killing of non-Muslims in the Valley.

Protests have been held at several places in Jammu and Kashmir over the killing of Bhat as well as the “failure" of the administration in providing security to Kashmiri Pandit employees.

J&K Police DGP Dilbag Singh told The Indian Express that those targeting minorities, civilians and people in government are “only propagating fear, since local residents have stopped responding to their diktat”.

Rajni hailed from Nanak Chak village in Samba, and was a Kashmiri Pandit. Her family members remained inconsolable and demanded stern action against the terrorists.

Seven instances of targeted killing in May alone

Aside from Rajni, there have been six other instances in the month of May when militants killed in a deliberate and targeted manner, including a Kashmiri Pandit employee, a woman artist, a wine shop employee and three policemen, in six separate targeted attacks in the Valley.

Security forces have also highlighted the use of pistols in these killings, as can be easily concealed and transported.

On May 24, policeman Saifullah Qadri was gunned down outside his house in Srinagar’s Soura, as he was headed to work. Two other policemen were also killed on a separate occasion.

On May 25, a Kashmiri TV actor was shot multiple times inside her home. Her family is still struggling to understand the reasons why she may have been targeted.

The killing came weeks after Rahul Bhat, a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2012-11, was shot dead by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists at his office in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on May 12.

In addition, a total of around 27 militants were killed in Kashmir last month, taking their death toll to around 90 for this year, as militancy shows no let-up despite stringent security measures and back-to-back anti-militancy operations.

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