Vijay Kumar, branch manager with Ellaquai Dehati Bank (EBD), was shot dead by the militants at Areah Mohanpora on Thursday in Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Vijay Kumar is a resident of Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. He joined EBD in March 2019. He was 29 years old.

After Vijay Kumar was shot, he was rushed to the nearby hospital, where the doctors pronounced him dead.

The incident marked the eighth targeted killing in the region since 1st May. Vijay Kumar was the third non-Muslim Government Employee on the list.

The State Bank of India (SBI) sponsors the Srinagar-headquartered Regional Rural Bank, EBD.

The State Bank of India mourned the death of the branch manager and assured financial support to his family.

SBI said, “SBI, as the sponsor of EBD, remains committed to ensure the safety and well-being of all its employees, including those posted in the valley. The EBD shall ensure that the bereaved family is provided with necessary support- financial and otherwise- on priority.”

SBI commented about Vijay Kumar, “He was one of many such bankers hailing from different parts of the country, who are working in the Kashmir valley and other difficult places to ensure delivery of uninterrupted banking services to the public.”

Kumar was killed just two days after Rajni Bala, a Hindu teacher from Jammu’s Samba District. She was shot dead at a Government School in Gopalpora, Kulgam.

BJP’s J&K spokesperson Altaf Thakur said, “What a shameful act yet again. This time a bank manager of Ellaquai Dehati Bank, Vijay Kumar from Rajasthan, falls to the bullets of terrorists at Kulgam. Now terrorists are 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.”

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said in a tweet, “So very sorry to hear about the targeted killing of Vijay Kumar. Tweeting to condemn an attack and condole a death are becoming a mind-numbingly regular thing. It’s heartbreaking to see families destroyed like this.”

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted, “The terrorist killing of bank manager Vijay Kumar, a resident of Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, working in Kulgam, J&K is highly condemnable. The NDA Government has failed to restore peace in Kashmir. The Central Government should ensure the safety of citizens in Kashmir.”