Kashmir: Bank employee from Rajasthan shot dead in Kulgam, eighth targeted killing in Valley since May 1

This is the eighth targeted killing by militants in the Valley in a month.

Bank Manager shot dead in Kashmir's Kulgam. (Screengrab from ANI Twitter video)

The targeted killing in Jammu and Kashmir continued on Thursday as terrorists shot dead a bank employee from Rajasthan inside the bank premises in Kashmir’s Kulgam district. This was the eighth targeted killing in the Valley since May 1 and the third of a non-Muslim government employee.

Vijay Kumar, a manager with the Ellaqui Dehati Bank at Areh Mohanpora branch in the south Kashmir district, received grievous gunshot injuries and died on his way to hospital. Kumar, a resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, had joined the Kulgam branch only a week ago. He had earlier been working in the Kokernag branch of the bank, co-owned by the Central government, the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the State Bank of India.

The killing on Thursday led to protest in Jammu by government employees belonging to the Hindu community. Protesters demanded security for members of the community and transfer of non-Muslim government employees out of the Valley.

Kumar’s kilking comes just two days after Rajni Bala, a Hindu woman teacher from Jammu’s Samba district, was shot dead by terrorists at a government school in Gopalpora, Kulgam.

On May 12, Rahul Bhat, a clerk, was shot dead inside the tehsildar’s office in Chadoora tehsil of Budgam district. Last week, TV artist Amreen Bhat died after Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists opened fire at her in the Chadoora area of Budgam. Of the eight targeted killings in Kashmir since May 1, three victims were off-duty policemen and five were civilians.

BJP’s J-K spokesperson Altaf Thakur said the killing was a serious issue and a matter of concern.“What a shameful act yet again. This time a bank manager of Ellaqui Dehati Bank Vijay Kumar of Rajashtan falls to the bullets of terrorists at Kulgam. Now terrorists targeting public servants too. A serious issue and a matter of concern. High time for security agencies to work out a strategy to stop this vicious cycle of violence,” he said. 

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah condemned the incident and expressed concern over the continued targeted killings in the Valley.

“So very sorry to hear about the targeted killing of Vijay Kumar. Tweeting to condemn an attack & condole a death are becoming a mind-numbingly regular thing. It’s heartbreaking to see families destroyed like this,” NC vice president Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.

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 terrorist killing of bank manager Vijay Kumar, a resident of Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, working in Kulgam, J&K is highly condemnable. NDA govt has failed to restore peace in Kashmir. Central govt should ensure the safety of citizens in Kashmir,” Gehlot wrote on Twitter.

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