Bitta Karate AKA Farooq Ahmed Dar’s Trial Begins; Can Justice Be Served To The Kashmiri Pandits?
After the rage that India is witnessing after the release of the film The Kashmir Files, the Kashmiri Pandits community have come out in the open to narrate the horrific incidents that took place during the 1990s in the Kashmir valley. In a significant move, the Srinagar Sessions Court began the trial of terrorist and the person responsible for the genocide of Kashmiri pandits, Bitta Karate, aka Farooq Ahmed Dar. The case started after 31 years following a plea by the family of Satish Tickoo, the first victim of Bitta Karate during the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits community.
Recently, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation also moved a petition in the Supreme Court to seek a probe against the mass murders of Kashmiri Pandits during the 1989-the 90s either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA). Though hitman Bitta Karate admitted to the killings of over 40 Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s publicly, the community was never served justice and have been relentlessly fighting for it. Karate later said that the statement was made under duress and completely denied the allegations of killing Kashmiri Pandits.
For the record, Bitta Karate, aka Farooq Ahmed Dar, is currently serving as the chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front in the Kashmir valley.
The Story of Bitta Karate
It is said that the phrase “Karate” was given to Bitta Karate due to his mastery in martial arts. At the beginning of his life, he used to work for his family business but soon left home to become a terrorist. Around 1988, he was picked by the then JKLF Chief Commander, Ashfaq Majeed Wani, across the Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) for armed training. Reportedly, Bitta received 32-days of armed training in a terrorist camp.
The Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits
After returning from the training camp, Bitta Karate, the Kashmiri separatist terrorist, unleashed his terror all over the Kashmiri valley by publicly shooting any individual who supported India. Satish Kumar Tickoo was his first victim and his close friend, who he shot in front of his house. He was later arrested by the Indian Army in June 1990 and put in detention till 2006. However, in the same year, he was released on bail. The Supreme Court had overturned Karate’s confinement under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Later, he joined the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and became its chairman.
In 1991, during in custody, Karate said that he did not murder “innocent people” and was only following “orders from above”. By that, Karate referred to JKLF top commander Ashfaq Majeed Wani who was responsible for transferring Bitta for terrorist and military training.
In 2019, following the Pulwama Attack, Farooq Ahmed Dar was arrested again by the National Investigation Agency on the charges of terror funding under anti-terror legislation.