Violent killing of innocent citizens continues in Kashmir. On Tuesday, militants shot dead a Hindu teacher at a South Kashmir school. Rajni Bala (36) was gunned down in the morning assembly. The murder witnessed by students, some of whom fainted, reported The Telegraph. It was Bala’s last day at the school, as she had been “transferred to a relatively safer area in the face of increased attacks on migrants.”
This murder of an innocent woman citizen comes shockly close to the killing of Kashmir TV artiste Amreen Bhat (35) who was also killed in front of a child, her 10-year-old nephew. The child was also injured after terrorists shot at him and his aunt in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Rajni is the seventh victim of targeted killings by militants in Kashmir in May. The victims include two Jammu Dogras, one Kashmiri Pandit, and four Muslims.
According to news reports, Rajni “belonged to a Scheduled Caste and was teaching at a school in Gopalpora village of Kulgam district in south Kashmir,” and her husband Raj Kumar teaches in another school. Both had been recently transferred due to increasing “safety concerns” as violent killings by terrorists have become the tragic norm in the valley now.
The teacher couple hail from Jammu’s Samba, and had been working in Kashmir for over a decade, stated news reports. According to TT’s report, “Scores of employees from Scheduled Caste communities from Jammu are posted in Kashmir as part of a reservation policy.” This distinguishes them from the migrant Pandit employees, who are being gradually rehabilitated in the Valley after the 1990 exodus.
Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti had been expressing concern that such targeted attacks were only going to escalate. Their warnings have tragically come true yet again.
It endrose kpss earlier tweet pic.twitter.com/kx2Uo2IudU
— KPSS (@KPSSamiti) May 31, 2022
First and foremost question is where from the terrorist get Guns. There is no Pakistani import angle as honrable prime minister shri Modi ji claims all borders are secure.
— KPSS (@KPSSamiti) May 31, 2022
These killings, especially those of migrant employees in the Valley, is a blot on the Centre’s rehabilitation policy. Members of the Pandit community have put the blame at the door of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government accusing them of politically exploiting the community but not doing enough to ensure their security on the ground.
The KPSS commended on social media that, “Honorable prime minister of India is doing a road show in Shimla today to completing 8 years in power. Integral part of India (Kashmir) is bleeding and UT AND GOI (Union Territory and Government of India) is promoting tourism in Kashmir.”
So far 5,928 of the 6,000 posts set aside for Pandit migrants in Kashmir under the rehabilitation package have been filled. According to the TT report, “No more than 1,037 of them have been given secure accommodation or allowed to stay in transit camps while the rest live in rented quarters outside the secure zones.” The employees say they are mere “scapegoats” that the authorities are using “to prove that its return-and-rehabilitation plan for Pandits is succeeding.” Pandit staff have been boycotting work in protest for the past 19 days, seeking relocation to Jammu, stated news report.
On Tuesday too, they held protests at multiple venues, and once again threatened a “mass migration” if they were not relocated. This time they have given the government 24 hours to meet their demands. “Bali ka bakra nahi chalega nahi chalega” (Translation: We will not be made scapegoats) and “Only solution — Relocation” were some of the slogans along with anti-BJP government chants. Stated news reports.
Rajni, the latest civilian victim, had been cleared for transfer to another educational institution “as part of a drive to post migrant employees in safer zones.” This was one of the quick decsions taken by the government to assure the community that has taken to the streets following the killing of Rahul Bhat was killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district on May 12. Almost two weeks of protests by the KP community, and strong statements by Bhat’s wife, Meenakshi Raina, on how his death had been ignored by the BJP government, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the family in Jammu to extend his condolences and assurances.
However, once again, on Tuesday, two militants “barged into the school as students and teachers were participating in the assembly session. Rajni was shot in the head from close range, triggering panic among those gathered. Videos showed some students fainting,” police reportedly told the media.
According to Amit Koul, a government employee and KPSS member, the government has so far ignored their plea to be shifted to Jammu. “The teacher was killed during an assembly session. It is very disturbing. We have been crying that we are not safe here and that please save us. We have decided that if the government takes no decision (on relocation), there will be another mass migration,” Koul told the media.