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Shift in Militants’ Pattern? A Look at Recent Killings in Kashmir Suggests Minority Civilians Prime Targets

Security personnel arrive at Government Boys Higher Secondary School after militants shot dead two teachers, at Eidgah Sangam area of Srinagar, on October 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/S Irfan)

Security personnel arrive at Government Boys Higher Secondary School after militants shot dead two teachers, at Eidgah Sangam area of Srinagar, on October 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/S Irfan)

According to sources in the Valley, over-ground workers of the TRF recently converted to main cadres to carry out targeted killings.

The principal and a teacher of a government school were killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar on Friday. The incident took place just two days after three civilians were shot dead in Srinagar and Bandipora.

Officials said the gunmen stormed into the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Srinagar’s Eidgah area and fired upon the duo, identified as principal Satinder Kaur from Alochibagh and Deepak Chand from Jammu, leaving them critically injured. They were shifted to SKIMS hospital where they were declared dead on arrival. The Valley has been battered by similar incidents of killings in the recent times.

• On October 5, a prominent pharmacist from the Kashmiri Pandit community was killed in Srinagar. Makhan Lal Bindroo, owner of Bindroo Medicate, was shot by unknown militants at his shop in Iqbal Park. “He received four bullets and was declared brought dead at SMHS hospital," officials said. A famous chemist in the area, Bindroo had been operating his pharmacy in Srinagar for many decades and was also well known for his philanthropic works.

• Within an hour of Makhan Lal Bindroo’s murder, suspected militants also shot dead a non-local person in the city’s Lalbazar area. He died on the spot and his body was retrieved by police. Identified as Virendra Paswan, the deceased was a resident of Bhagalpur in Bihar and used to earn his livelihood by selling ‘golgappa’ and ‘bhelpuri’. Almost simultaneously, militants shot dead Mohammad Shafi Lone, president of the local taxi stand, at Naidkhai in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

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• Two civilians were killed in two separate incidents of firing by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar on October 2. Both the incidents took place within a kilometer radius in just three hours. The first incident took place when a civilian identified as Abdul Majid Guru, a resident of Chattabal in Srinagar, was fired from a close range at Karan Nagar area which is not far away from Batamaloo. He succumbed to his injuries even though the SMHS hospital was stone’s throw away from the place of the crime.

• The second incident took place when a 45-year-old power department employee Mohammad Shafi Dar was shot at in Batamaloo. He was taken to hospital with a bullet wound in his abdomen but later succumbed to the injuries. The man was shot at when the otherwise busy Batamaloo market was packing up with many shopkeepers closing their shops and people going homes.

• On September 30, militants had shot at and killed two teachers of a government school in Srinagar, both members of the region’s minority Sikh and Hindu communities. The two teachers were identified as Supinder Kour, 46, a resident of Budgam, and Deepak Chand, 39 from Janipur in Jammu. They were both inside the campus of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Sangam of Eidgah in Srinagar when the incident took place.

• In the last of September itself, seven civilians were killed in Kashmir, three of them from the Hindu and Sikh communities. In all, 25 civilians, including political workers, were reportedly killed in targeted assassinations till September this year, according to police records.

• The Resistance Front (TRF) is believed to be a front for Pakistan-based militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to sources in the Valley, over-ground workers of the TRF recently converted to main cadres to carry out targeted killings. “We can see a shift in violence pattern. They want to give a very specific message that non-Muslims and minorities will not be accepted. These terror groups have a problem with new domicile act and new electoral process. These targets are very soft. They are those who are working in the society and for Kashmir,” a source told News18.

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first published:October 07, 2021, 18:01 IST