Slain School Teacher’s Husband Blames J&K Authorities as Requests for Transfer Fell on ‘deaf Ears’


Shattered by the killing of her wife by terrorists within minutes after he dropped her at her school in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district, Raj Kumar, the husband of slain teacher Rajni Bala, blamed the administration on Tuesday for turning a “deaf ear” to their repeated requests to transfer her to a safer area in view of the targeted killings of Hindus in the Union Territory.

Bala and Kumar were transferred to another school in a safer area only on Monday night. Tuesday was supposed to be the last day for Bala at her old school. Kumar said Hindus are soft targets in Kashmir and the administration should relocate them in view of the fear psychosis triggered by the selective killings by terrorists.

Bala (36) was shot in the head on the premises of the school in Kulgam’s Gopalpora area and succumbed to her injuries at a hospital, police said. The killing of Bala, who belonged to Samba district but was posted at a government school in Kulgam, is the second such killing of a Hindu employee in the district and the seventh targeted killing by terrorists in Kashmir in May.

Kumar, who is also a government school teacher in Kulgam, brought his wife’s body to their home in Samba. A pall of gloom descended in the area as the body was brought to her home amid “Rajni Bala Amar Rahe” slogans. Hundreds of people, including Bala’s relatives, thronged the house.

“Had the administration transferred her to a safer place earlier, she might have been alive by now. I curse my destiny. Just a day after her transfer, she was killed by terrorists,” Kumar told reporters. He said they had approached the chief education officer (CEO) for their transfer to a safer place after a member of the Hindu community was killed by terrorists at Kakran, which is close to Bala’s place of posting.

“I had given an application to the CEO. We had told him that the school is not safe for my wife, but he did not do anything,” Kumar said. Bala and Kumar were posted in two schools in Kulgam in 2009.

Kumar said he went to the Kulgam CEO again after a few days and requested him for her wife’s transfer, but the latter allegedly became angry and threatened him saying Bala will be posted further away. “After the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee, we met the Kulgam deputy commissioner about the security aspects. The DC called the CEO and directed him to post us in secured places. The CEO told me that the earlier application was misplaced and asked me to give another application,” Kumar said, alleging that the CEO did nothing for the next 12 days.

As nothing happened despite giving the applications and making fervent requests to the CEO for their transfer, the couple met the director of school education in Srinagar on Monday. “We requested him to post us in one school. We gave him the name of the school and both of us were transferred to that school on Monday night,” Kumar said.

“I dropped her at the school and went back to my school. I went to the hospital to get the shocking news that my wife was shot and she died on the spot,” he added. The parents of a 13-year-old girl were living in fear since the targeted killing of Hindus started in the Union Territory. They were living in a rented accommodation in Kulgam for 14 years.

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