Two teachers were shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside a government school at Eidgah area of Srinagar on Thursday morning. The deceased were identified as Satinder Kour and Deepak Chand, both residents of Allochibagh area of the city. This is second such attack within two days.
One of the two victims is a Sikh, while another is a Hindu. Taking strong note of the incident, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee in Srinagar has asked all Sikh employees in the state to boycott work till the culprits are arrested. "We'll not tolerate these attacks on our community," Jagmohan Singh, president of the APSCC said, as he asked the government to ensure safety of Sikhs in Kashmir.
"These recent incidents of targeting civilians are to create an atmosphere of fear, communal disharmony here. This is a conspiracy to target the local ethos and values and defame local Kashmiri muslims. This is being done on instructions from agencies in Pakistan," J&K DGP Dilbag Singh said soon after the attack.
On Tuesday, three civilians, including prominent chemist ML Bindroo, were gunned down in separate incidents. Bindroo, owner of a pharmacy and a well-known businessman, was shot at inside his pharmacy, according to police. While the attackers escaped, Bindroo, 70, was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.
A non-local hawker was killed on the same day in Lalbazar area of Srinagar. The victim was identified as Virender Paswan, a resident of Bihar's Bhagalpur district. The same day, another attack was reported from north Kashmir's Bandipora district where unidentified gunmen shot down a civilian, Mohammad Shafi Lone of Naidkhai.
Kashmir has witnessed a spree of civillian killings over the last one week. As many as seven people have been killed in Valley since October 2, all of them shot at from close range.
The civilian killings has sent a wave of fear among people in Kashmir. "It is like back to the 1990s when people were killed just like that and no one knew who killed them and why," says senior journalist Shams Irfan. "People on the streets are scared, uncertain about future," he adds.
This year, till October 5, Valley witnessed 21 civilian killings, according to the data provided by South Asia Terrorism Portal.
Meanwhile, the police has registered in the case of killing of two teachers in old city. A search operation is also underway in the area, police has said.
"We are worried about the cross border terrorism and are discussing the issue at various platforms," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said as he condemned the attacks in Kashmir.