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Court Issues Proclamation Orders Against Terrorists Involved in Targeted Killings of Dalit Teacher and Bank Manager

22-05-2023 : In a series of targeted attacks aimed at instilling fear among non-locals, terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir carried out two consecutive acts of violence in 2022, resulting in the deaths of a female Dalit teacher, Rajni Bala, and a bank manager, Vijay Kumar. To address these heinous crimes, a court in the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir has issued proclamation orders against five active terrorists involved in these selective killings.

The Special Court Kulgam, designated under the NIA Act, has issued proclamation orders under Section 82 of the CrPC against these five terrorists, who are implicated in various militant crimes and cases of targeted killings. Among their crimes, they are responsible for the fatal attacks on Rajni Bala, a Dalit teacher, and Vijay Kumar, a bank manager, both of whom tragically lost their lives in separate incidents in Kulgam district during 2022.

Rajni Bala, the first employee recruited under the inter-district recruitment policy, became the target of terrorists. This marked the first time that terrorists had attacked a Jammu-based employee recruited under the inter-district recruitment policy, specifically in the Scheduled Caste category. On May 30, 2022, Rajni Bala was shot dead by terrorists in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam district. The attackers fired at her from close range outside the High School in Gopalpora, inflicting severe wounds. She was immediately rushed to the district hospital, but unfortunately, she was declared dead upon arrival. The teacher had been shot in the head and had been serving in the district for five years under the Schedule Caste quota. Along with her husband, Raj Kumar Atri, she was posted in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam and resided in a rented accommodation in the Chawalgaam area of the same district.

Just two days after Rajni Bala’s tragic killing, terrorists struck again, this time targeting Vijay Kumar, a resident of Rajasthan and a bank manager working in a local branch in Kulgam district, South Kashmir. The victim, identified as Vijay Kumar, hailed from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan and was employed as a manager at Elllaquai Dehati Bank in Kulgam.

In response to the request from the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Kashmir, the court has issued proclamation notices against the identified terrorists involved in these crimes. The named individuals are Arjumand Gulzar, alias Hamza Bhuran, Bilal Ahmed Bhat, Sameer Ahmed Sheikh, alias Kamran Bhai, Abid Ramzan Sheikh, and Basit Amin Bhat. The court has also issued open-ended non-bailable warrants (NBW) against all these terrorists prior to the issuance of the proclamation orders.

The proclamation orders have been publicized in conspicuous locations within their native villages, with copies of the orders posted in visible places within their residential houses and villages. Prior to taking further legal action against these militants, the court has granted them an opportunity to surrender before the court or the investigating agency. Teams from the SIU, accompanied by local police and magistrates, have been dispatched to their native villages in Kulgam, Shopian, and Pulwama districts to execute the proclamation notices, ensuring the proper adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) throughout these proceedings.