What happened in the Valley on Thursday was unprecedented. Terrorists segregated Kashmiri Muslims from Sikhs and Hindus, asked Muslim teachers to leave the school and then killed the lady principal, a Sikh, and a Hindu male teacher. Before segregating, the three terrorists asked the teachers to show their IDs, checked each one of them, and then told Muslim teachers that it was time for their Namaaz and they should leave.
The bloodbath took place at the government-run Sangam Eidgah Boys’ Higher Secondary School at around 10.30 am. The teachers were then busy preparing the exam schedules for the students. The killers asked the 44-year old lady principal, Supinder Kaur, and her colleague Deepak Chand, a Hindu resident from Jammu, to come out of the school building, and they were shot multiple times. The terrorists coolly walked out of the campus.
In the process, the separatists have murdered humanity in cold blood. They have tried to kill the soul of Kashmiriyat that thrives in the Valley among Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. They sought to convert the Kashmir paradise into a purgatory hell.
In my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Thursday night, we were initially reluctant to show the screams and wails of the kin of those killed, but then decided to show these so that the world can realize the gruesome nature of the killings. The motive of terror groups behind taking out soft targets, with a clear intent to create communal division in the Valley, is apparent. These images show how desperate they are to create disturbance in a Valley that was living in peace and amity for the last two years.
In the last five days, terrorists have gunned down seven innocent civilians, out of whom four were non-Muslims. There were two Kashmiri Pandits among them. The civilians were killed only because they were non-Muslims. The aim behind these selective, targeted killings is clear.
In my show, I spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, who vowed that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes will not go unpunished.
Manoj Sinha described the killings as “an act of cowardice”. He said, for the first time, a woman has been killed by terrorists. “The lady principal used to work for the upliftment and education of orphan children. ..Every drop of tear from the eyes of the kin of those killed will be accounted for, and the killers will have to pay for this act, with interest. These are targeted killings with clear motives on part of their handlers sitting elsewhere. I have given full powers to the forces to act fast and eliminate such elements. I find a clear pattern behind the killings of civilians belong to particular communities. They want to convey the message that they do not want peace and prosperity in the Valley.”
The Lt. Governor said, “For the last two years, there was peace in the Valley. In July this year alone, 10.5 lakh tourists visited Kashmir. In August 11.28 lakh tourists came here, and in September, the number of tourists crossed 12.25 lakhs. Terrorists want to destroy the lives of common people. They want to end communal brotherhood in Kashmir, but our government will try to catch the killers, even if they hide in ‘paataal’ (hell).”
Sinha said: “I appeal to the people of Kashmir to maintain communal harmony by upholding the great traditions and culture of this region. I appeal to all intellectuals and youths in the Valley not to allow terrorists to sow seeds of communal discord. We find a new trend among the terrorists, and I promise that by Friday and Saturday, we will be able to place new disclosures before the public. We had a top level meeting on Wednesday with force commanders and a new strategy has been prepared. The situation will be brought under control very soon. We will make full arrangements for the safety and security of Sikhs, Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.” I think the Lt. Governor has more secret information with him, which he was unwilling to share. It seems that police have identified the killers, and are trying to nab them.
Every Indian and every Kashmiri should hear what the Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Mattoo said after the killings. Mattoo said, “Those who describe terrorists as militants will never understand the pains of common Kashmiris. Those who kill innocents and women, can, by no stretch of imagination, be called militants. They are savages. They are enemies of Islam and Insaniyat (humanity). The entire Valley should rise and rebuff these elements.”
Our Srinagar reporter Manzoor Mir said, the road leading to the school goes through thick forest, and terrorists used this as a cover to carry out their cowardly act. There were no students in the school as they were busy preparing for their exams. Teachers were having morning tea in school, when the three youths walked in, carrying pistols. They checked identity cards, Aadhar and even voter I-Cards to check the religion of each of the teachers, who were asked to stand in a line, along with the lady principal.
Principal Supinder Kaur has left behind a daughter studying in Class 8 and a son studying in Class 3. Her husband works in a bank. The teachers had come to the school to prepare duty charts for conduct of examinations. No one had ever dreamed that terrorists would walk in, ask their religion and then shoot two of them dead. After the killers left, the teachers sat in a group, sad and shocked. Most of them were weeping.
The slain Hindu teacher Deepak Chand hailed from Jammu. He had joined service three years ago, had come to Srinagar with his wife and three-year-old daughter, stayed in a rented house, and had been teaching in this school. Deepak had returned from Jammu five days ago after carrying out rites for his father’s death anniversary, but Thursday was his last day. Deepak’s wife continues to be in a state of shock. His cousin told India TV reporter that Deepak had told him over phone that he was shocked over the killing of businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo in Srinagar, but had also said that since the people of Srinagar are nice and helpful, he had nothing to fear.
The government will help the families of those killed by terrorists, police and security forces will nab or shoot the killers, but the moot point remains: Will the conspiracies of terrorists come to an end? Can Kashmiriyat be saved?
Not at all. Kashmiriyat can be saved only when people realize the true motives of terrorists and their handlers, and rebuff them by giving a strong reply. Let me tell you what are the main motives.
For the last two years, terrorists made all out efforts to attack security forces, they were eliminated. They attacked Kashmir policemen, but failed to achieve their objective. They started killing civilians, including Kashmiri Muslims, shot people in the back when they were offering Namaaz prayers, but the common man remained unafraid. People in the Valley stopped giving shelter to terrorists. On the contrary, people started giving secret info about terrorists to the police.
The result: More than 550 terrorists were killed in the Valley during the last two years. Now that peace returned to the Valley and business and normal life resumed, more than 4,500 Kashmiri Pandits have returned to Kashmir. There were indications about the return of many out of the 44,000 Kashmiri Pandits who had left during the Nineties. Kashmiri Pandits who returned were welcomed with affection by the people of the Valley. Kashmiri Pandit families, who wished to return, started applying to the state government offering to return.
Handlers of terrorists sitting in Pakistan were offended by these developments. Terrorists were asked by Pakistani handlers to specifically select people from minorities and kill them, so that Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir start suspecting their Muslim brethren. They want to create an abyss of hatred between communities. I am fully confident that Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims living in Kashmir, will understand this devious Pakistani plot and foil it.
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