Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday in the wake of terrorists killing seven civilians in the last five days, officials said. During the hour-long meeting, the home minister was given a presentation on the overall security situation in the Union Territory and the border areas by top officials.
He was briefed about the latest modus operandi of the terrorists in carrying out attacks on soft targets and the steps taken to tighten the security arrangements, an official said. Shah is believed to have directed the officials to ensure that those involved in the killings are nabbed and to check further occurrence of such incidents.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the killing of two teachers belonging to minority communities. “I strongly condemn the barbaric killing of two of our teachers, Supinder Kour and Deepak Chand by terrorists. A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous terror attacks on innocent people," Sinha wrote on Twitter.
“The terrorists & their patrons will not succeed in disturbing peace, progress & prosperity of J&K UT. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family, friends and colleagues," he added. The two teachers were shot dead by terrorists inside their school at Sangam in the Eidgah area of the city on Thursday.
Later, Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar held a separate meeting, which was also attended by top officials of Jammu and Kashmir. A woman principal and a teacher were shot dead at point-blank range inside a government school in Srinagar on Thursday, taking the number of civilians killed by terrorists in the Kashmir valley to seven in the last five days.
Of the seven, four were from minority communities and six of the deaths were reported from Srinagar. Supinder Kaur, the principal of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School at Eidgah in Srinagar, and Deepak Chand were gunned down at around 11.15 am on the school premises.
There were no students in the school. Makhan Lal Bindroo, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit and the owner of Srinagar’s most famous pharmacy, was shot dead at his shop on Tuesday.
A “chaat" vendor, Virendra Paswan from Bihar, and another civilian, Mohammad Shafi Lone, were also killed on Tuesday in Srinagar and Bandipora respectively. On Saturday, terrorists shot dead Majid Ahmad Gojri in Srinagar and Mohammad Shafi Dar at Batamaloo.
According to official statistics, a total of 28 civilians have so far been killed by terrorists in 2021. Of the 28 civilians killed, five belonged to local Hindu or Sikh communities while two were non-local Hindu labourers.
Officials said due to the killings of a large numbers of terrorists of all outfits, especially their leadership, and the destruction of their support systems, the Pakistan-based handlers of the terrorists have got frustrated and changed their strategy. They have started targeting unarmed policemen, politicians and innocent civilians from minority communities, including women. In all such cases, the terrorists used pistols, which they can carry easily, the officials said.
Most of these crimes are committed by newly-recruited terrorists or those who are about to join terrorist ranks, they added. According to official data, 97 terror attacks have so far been reported in Jammu and Kashmir this year — 71 on security forces and 26 on civilians.
In 2020, a total of 105 such attacks were reported — 80 on security forces and 25 on civilians.