Targeted killings of civilians, including prominent citizens and non-locals, in Kashmir Valley, have raised concern not only in the centrally-administered Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir but also in the Central government.
A day after militants shot dead a well-known elderly pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo in Srinagar and a street hawker belonging to Bihar, they targeted two school teachers in Srinagar — Supinder Kour and Deepak Chand, and also shot and killed them. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has rightly condemned the series of attacks by the militants on minorities in the Union Territory, saying it was very disturbing.
Of the five victims of terrorist violence, four belonged to minority communities and one of the victims killed on Thursday was a woman. Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh has described the killings as an attempt to defame Kashmiri Muslims and to create an atmosphere of fear and communal disharmony. So far this year, as many as 24 civilians and 20 security personnel have died in Kashmir, according to figures of the Union Home Ministry given out in answers to Parliament.
External Affairs Ministry also strongly condemned the targeted killings of innocent killings and blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism, a concern which India has raised on all platforms.
The latest trend of militants carrying out the killings of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir is a worrying trend and the government will need to work overtime to trace the culprits behind this conspiracy. Security forces and the police will have to foil such attempts to disturb the peace and local ethos in the Union Territory. With the Taliban regime in place in Afghanistan, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir will remain a concern for the government and security forces.
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