In third such incident in less than three months, a 27-year-old cricket coach was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside a private school in Haryana’s Sonipat district on Tuesday morning.

The victim, Sumit Badhwar, was on his way back from the school after giving cricket coaching to his students in the  Pratap Singh Memorial Senior Secondary School in  Kharkhoda town of Sonipat when he was shot.

“Sumit had hardly come about half a kilometre from the school at about 7 a.m. when the motorcycle-borne assailants shot him five times from a close range. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared brought dead,” the station house officer (SHO), Kharkhoda, Wazir Singh told The Statesman over the phone. He investigations are on but no arrests have been made in the case.

The victim was a resident of Sunarian village in the adjoining Rohtak district and had moved to Sonipat only about two months back.

“The coach was working in the Kharkhoda school only for two months. Before this, he was working in Rohtak. Therefore, we suspect this incident has something to do with old enmity or some incident which took place in Rohtak. So our team is going to Rohtak to ascertain the possible motive behind the incident and the nab the people behind this murder,” a senior police officer said pleading anonymity.

This incident took place barely a month after an assistant professor was shot dead by his student inside the Shaheed Dalbir Singh College in the same town, Kharkhoda, on 13 March.

In this incident,   assistant professor, Rajesh Malik, was shot dead by his student at about 9 a.m. this morning on the campus the college.

Earlier on 21 January, a Class XII student had shot dead his school’s principal inside her office with his father’s revolver in Haryana’s Yamunanagar, days after he was warned for low attendance.

The 18-year-old boy had shown up at Swami Vivekananda Public School during a parent-teacher meeting, forced his way into principal Ritu Chhabra’s office and asked her to accept his project report. The 46-year-old Chhabra was hit by three bullet injuries — one on the face and two pierced her chest.

Following the incident in Yamunanagar, nearly 8,000 private schools across Haryana had remained shut on 30 January in protest against the alleged lack of security to teachers and other staff members.

Under the banner of Federation of Private Schools Association, private schools had demanded more safety for teachers, management and non-teaching staff and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioners of all the districts.