Srinagar: Unknown gunmen on Thursday shot dead Principal and a teacher of a Government school in Eidgah area of Srinagar city. Meanwhile leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the killings of both the School Principal and the teacher
Confirming the killing of the school Principal and a teacher Police said that the gunmen fired at the principal of Government Higher Secondary School, Sangam, Eidgah, in Srinagar and her male colleague, leaving them dead on the spot. A police official said the slain were identified as Supinder Kour, who was the principal of the institution and her colleague Depak Chand. “Kour hails from Rengipora, Beerwah, presently living at Aloochibagh area of Srinagar while Deepak is a resident of Jammu,” police said.
Soon after the incident senior police officers including DGP Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, IG CRPF Srinagar sector Charu Sinha visited the spot. A teacher, who seemed in shock, said hat they were in a separate room when they heard the gunshots. “We didn’t go out because of fear. When locals reached the area only then we went out of the room and found principal madam and our colleague lying flat on ground with blood oozing from their wounds,” he said.
Leaders of almost all the major political parties have condemned the killings . National Conference party president and Member Parliament from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah said “I condemn the dastardly killings unreservedly and express my unison with the families of victims in their hour of grief and loss”, adding therein that “the spurt in the incidents of targeted killings also raises a big question mark on the security scenario in Kashmir, particularly in Srinagar city. The perpetrators, who have committed this heinous act, have no religion. No religion condones violence. Nothing justifies such bloodshed.I express heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray to Almighty to give the bereaved family the strength to bear the loss in this hour of grief”.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar in a statement issued on Thursday said 28 civilians have been killed by militants this year. “Out of 28, five persons belong to local Hindu/Sikh community and 2 non-local Hindu labourers,” he said, adding, “Due to killing of huge number of (militants) of all outfits specially their leaderships, destruction of their support structures and continuous and effective maintenance of law & order, (militant) handlers across have got frustrated and changed their strategy and started targeting unarmed policemen, innocent civilians, politicians and now innocent civilians from minority communities including woman.”
He said that in all such cases militants have been using pistols. “These acts are committed by newly recruited (militants) or those who are about to join (militant) rank,” he said, adding, “In some cases, OGWs have been found directly involved.”J&K Police, he said, is working hard and “we are identifying all such part-time/hybrid (militants) and strictest action shall be taken against them.” “We have received several leads and are working on it. We have also been launching operations along with security forces,” he said, adding, “We appeal to general public specially minority communities not to panic. We have been maintaining peace and secured environment and will continue to do so.”
Condemning the killings of teachers former Chief Mini National Conference Vice President in a tweet said “Shocking news coming in again from Srinagar. Another set of targeted killings, this time of two teachers in a Govt 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.” Another former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet said “Disturbing to see the deteriorating situation in Kashmir where a minuscule minority is the latest target. GOI’s claims of building a Naya Kashmir has actually turned it into a hellhole. It”s sole interest is to use Kashmir as a milch cow for its electoral interests” .
Condemning the killings of the teachers the Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone in a tweet said “Reports of cowardice emerging. Two teachers shot dead. It is important to understand that militants 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.”
Apni Party President Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari termed the incident as a dastardly coward act wherein civilians have been targeted mercilessly.“This is a brazen display of cowardice and inhuman nature. The government must act tough against the perpetrators of this heinous crime against humanity,” Bukhari said, demanding security measures that can prevent such brutal killings across Kashmir.He said that the agony and pain through which the families of victims would be now going through is inexpressible. “This senseless violence seems to have no end as even women folk are not being spared now. What justification can be given for these cold-blooded killings?” he asked.
Jammu and Kashmir Bhartiya Janata Party General Secretary (Organization) Ashok Koul termed the killings as barbaric act. He offered his condolences to bereaved families in this time of grief. “It is clear security lapse from the government end as seven civilians have been killed in Kashmir from the past five days,” Koul said. Why our police and other agencies have failed to safeguard the lives of common citizens, he questioned.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) also strongly condemned the act of killing of school teachers in Safakadal are of Srinagar District. JKPCC in a statement expressed said that the killing of school teachers is shameful, unfortunate and most condemnable act. “The barbaric Killing of school teachers was disturbing and mindless act on the part of killers, JKPCC added and expressed anguish over the loss of, urging the Govt to ascertain the identity of killers for exemplary punishment,” it reads.
Condemning the killings the Chairman Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen appealed civil society to voice it’s concern in strong terms against target killing of civilians. He said enemies of peace were hell bent upon to tarnish the image of secular Kashmir and Kashmiryat by fomenting communal frenzy and hatred. PDF Chairman has made a fervent appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion and region, to rise to the occasion and stand like a rock to defeat nefarious designs of the enemy of peace and brother hood.” He said enemy of peace would not be allowed to vitiate our centuries old tradition of mutual communal understanding and unity in diversity. Hakeem also castigated government for its alleged failure on security as well as law and order fronts. “People have every right to ask ‘ who are these unknown gunmen and why intelligence agencies have failed to expose them despite repeated demand from the people and civil society ,” Hakeem Yaseen added. Hakeem demanded early essembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir so that popular government could take control of the situation adding that the present system of governance has proved an utter failure on social , political , security and developmental fronts.
Condemning the killngs the CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that the killing of two school teachers in Srinagar, less than 48 hours after three civilians were gunned down in separate incidents, is most unfortunate and tragic and such barbaric incidents have no place in a civilised society.In a statement issued here on Thursday , Tarigami said, “Such brutal killings are harmful for the society and can’t be justified under any circumstances. It is the responsibility of the whole society, including political, social, religious and other organisations, to come forward and condemn such barbaric incidents in one voice. Spilling the blood of innocents is not acceptable to us. “The spree of latest killings has shocked the Kashmiri society. Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs are part and parcel of the local shared history, and cultural ethos,” he said. He said that protecting the pluralistic visage of J&K must be the top agenda of every Kashmiri. “We condemn these killings in the strongest words and express deep sympathy with the bereaved families,” he added.
Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam in his condemnation termed the killing of two teachers unfortunate and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. He said such killing will yield no results. He said that Muslim community of Kashmir stand with the bereaved families at this hour of grief and shock.
College Teachers Association also condemned the killing of two teachers. The Association said that teachers are known as the builders of nation and the killing of innocent teachers is the killing of whole humanity. Prof. Tariq Ashai, CTA President termed the act as unfortunate and the said that the whole teachers’ community is in deep shock and expressed his solidarity with the bereaved families.