Second targeted killing in district, 2 days after Rajni Bala’s
Anantnag: A Rajasthan native working as the branch manager of Ellaquai Dehati Bank (EDB) here in Kulgam district was shot at and killed by unidentified gunmen right in his office chair, Thursday morning.
The slain, Vijay Kumar, was a resident of Hanumangarh area in Rajasthan. This is the second such killing in a matter of three days here in Kulgam district, and yet another addition to the streak of targeted killings in Kashmir valley.
On May 31, Rajni Bala, a female teacher from Samba district, was shot at and killed right outside the school she was posted at in Gopalpora area.
Earlier, on May 12, a Kashmiri Pandit employee of the revenue department was shot at and killed inside his office, in Chadoora area of Budgam district. Since then, the members of the minority Pandit community have been protesting and demanding postings to “safer” places.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has assured that Kashmiri Pandits and minorities from outside will be posted in “safe zones” before June 6. What dimensions the two back-to-back killings in Kulgam district are going to add to the scenario remains to be seen.
In Kulgam district, today’s killing took place in Arreh Mohanpora village, where the bank manager had been transferred to only a few days back. “He was posted in Larnoo area of Anantnag district prior to this and had been transferred here only a few days ago,” a police source from Kulgam told Kashmir Reader.
Kashmir Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that a manhunt has been launched to nab the attackers. “The militants attacked Vijay inside his office this morning. He was shifted to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries,” Kumar said, adding that the incident took place at about 11:00 AM.
Soon after the killing, CCTV footage from Vijay’s bank chamber went viral over social media. A masked man can be seen opening the door to his cabin and firing a couple of times at Vijay.
“We are looking at every possible clue that the attackers have left behind, including the CCTV footage and the eyewitness accounts. The attackers will be identified and neutralised soon,” a police official from the area said.
He said that a massive search operation was launched soon after the attack to try and nab the attackers, but they had managed to flee. The killing, meanwhile, created widespread panic across Kashmir, particularly in Kulgam district.
Protests were held in Srinagar and some other parts against the killing, even as the Kashmiri Pandits intensified their protests.
The security agencies, meanwhile, are in a huddle with meetings going on simultaneously in Kashmir and in Delhi. On the ground, security has been further tightened, as apprehensions of an attack on the annual Amarnath Yatra seem plausible, now more than ever.
The annual pilgrimage to the mountains of Chandanwari will commence on June 30 and will conclude on August 11.