A bank manager from Rajasthan was shot dead by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam in the second targeted attack on Hindus in the Valley in three days.
Terrorists attacked Vijay Kumar, manager of Elaqahi Dehati Bank, inside its Areh branch today. He breathed his last on the way to hospital.
A resident of Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan, Kumar had recently joined his posting in Kulgam.
Police said the area has been cordoned off and efforts are on to track down the terrorists behind the attack.
The attack comes just two days after a Hindu teacher from Jammu, Rajni Bala, was killed by terrorists outside a school, also in Kulgam.
The bank manager’s killing in Kulgam came within 24 hours of two major incidents in the adjoining Shopian district. A civilian, Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, was injured in a targeted terror attack inside his home last evening.
In another incident, three soldiers were injured after an explosion in their vehicle early this morning. One of the soldiers has suffered critical injuries.
According to the Army, the three soldiers had taken a private vehicle for an anti-terrorist operation. The blast, they said, took place while they were on their way to the target area.
Police are now trying to confirm if the blast was caused by an IED, a grenade or the malfunctioning of the car battery. Sources said the vehicle has been heavily damaged and it’s unlikely that this was caused by battery issues.
In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the killing and expressed his condolences. He also targeted the NDA government over its failure to keep the peace in Kashmir and said they must ensure the safety of citizens.
The fresh attack also comes amid a widespread protest in the Union Territory by Kashmiri Pandits demanding that they be relocated to safer areas. Members of the community have been protesting since Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead inside the magistrate’s office in Budgam last month.
About 4,000 Kashmir Pandits employed in the Valley under a Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package have threatened mass migration as they no longer feel safe. To stop them from leaving, the Union Territory administration put up barricades and locked gates to transit camps.
Targeted attacks on migrant workers and local minorities in Kashmir started last year. In October, seven civilians were killed in five days — among them a Kashmiri Pandit, a Sikh and two non-local Hindus.
With inputs from NDTV