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Bank manager from Rajasthan shot dead by militants in Kulgam district

A bank manager was shot dead by militants on Thursday in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, the police said.

Vijay Kumar, a resident of Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh city, was shot inside the premises of the Ellaqui Dehati Bank. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.

Security forces have cordoned off the area. This is the eighth incident of killing of a civilian in the region since May.

The attack on Kumar came a day after a Hindu school teacher was shot dead by militants in Kulgam.

Rajni Bala, 36, a resident of Jammu’s Samba district, was shot dead outside her school in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam.

The killings have led to protests by Kashmiri Pandits across the Valley. On Tuesday, Kashmiri Pandit employees, recruited under the prime minister’s special rehabilitation package, threatened to leave the Valley en masse if the Jammu and Kashmir administration did not to relocate them to safe places within 24 hours.

Since January, at least 16 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers and village heads, have been reported in Kashmir.

‘Government has failed to restore peace in Kashmir’

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the central government should ensure the safety of citizens in Kashmir.

“This NDA [National Democratic Alliance] government has failed to restore peace in Kashmir,” Gehlot told ANI. “Such killings will not be tolerated.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said he was sorry about the targeted killing of Kumar.

“Tweeting to condemn an attack and condole a death are becoming a mind-numbingly regular thing,” Abdullah wrote. “It is heartbreaking to see families destroyed like this.”

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone said he was at a loss of words to condemn for “such a heinous act”.

“May the family have the courage to bear this loss,” he wrote. “May the deceased rest in peace.”

Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killing.

“Condemn yet another targeted killing today of Vijay Kumar, a bank manager working in Kulgam,” Mufti wrote in a tweet. “Heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Altaf Thakur said Kumar’s killing was a matter of concern.“What a shameful act yet again,” Thakur said, according to PTI. “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.”

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