Two teachers were killed by gunmen in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar on Thursday, The Hindu reported.
The Resistance Front, an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the killings.
A senior police official told The Hindu that unknown gunmen entered the Sangam Higher Secondary School in Safa Kadal town of Srinagar district and fired on the teachers from point blank range.
“Both the teachers were declared brought dead at a nearby hospital,” said an unidentified police official. The deceased have been identified as Satinder Kaur and Deepak Chand. Both of them are the residents of Allocha Bagh area in Srinagar.
Unidentified officials told Kashmir News Service that Kaur was the principal of the school.
The Resistance Front said that they resorted to the killings after warning teachers and parents to not organise any event on August 15 – India’s Independence Day.
The attack took place two days after a Kashmiri Pandit pharmacist, identified as 68-year-old Makhan Lal Bindroo, a street vendor, Virender Paswan, and a Bandipora resident, Mohammad Shafi Lone, were shot dead by militants in separate incidents in the Union Territory.
The Resistance Front had claimed responsibility for the killings of Bindroo and Lone too. The organisation accused both of them of helping the central government and said that it had warned them not to do so in the past.
So far, 27 civilians have been killed in the Union Territory this year, according to The Hindu.
On Thursday, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh claimed that the attacks were being carried out on instructions from agencies based in Pakistan, reported ANI.
“These recent incidents of targeting civilians are to create an atmosphere of fear, communal disharmony here,” he said. “This is a conspiracy to target the local ethos and values and defame local Kashmiri Muslims.”
Meanwhile, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that condemnation was not enough “for this inhuman act of terror” and that he was praying for the deceased.
Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill described the incident as shocking and disturbing. “Monsters of violence responsible for this cowardly attack should not be spared at any cost,” he tweeted. “Condolences to families of the deceased.”
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said it was disturbing to see the “deteriorating” condition in Kashmir where members of the minority community were being targeted. Kaur was a Sikh and Chand a Hindu.
“GOI’s [government of India] claims of building a naya [new] Kashmir has actually turned it into a hellhole,” she alleged. “It’s sole interest is to use Kashmir as a milch cow for its electoral interests.”
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Altaf Thakur said that it was high time for the Srinagar police chief to take steps to prevent further killings of civilians. “Why no security measures on ground to prevent such incidents in the city?” he asked. “There is fear all around.”
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha condemned the killings, ANI reported.
“A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the henious terror attacks on innocent people,” he said.