Criminal application filed against Bitta Karate in Srinagar court


A criminal application has been filed against Kashmiri separatist Farooq Ahmed Daar, alias Bitta Karate, in a Srinagar court requesting a status report on all FIRs, or first information reports registered against him, including one in connection with the murder of Satish Tickoo, a member of the Kashmiri Pandit community. In a 1991 interview Karate, now a leader in the banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), admitted to killing dozens of Pandits, including Tickoo, during insurgency in the Valley that led to the community's exodus.

He later said he did not kill anyone and claimed his statement had been made under duress.

The criminal application was filed by an advocate, Utsav Bains, on behalf of Tickoo's family.

Bains said, "Today was the first hearing... the court heard the matter positively and reprimanded the Jammu and Kashmir government (asking) what had done in the last 31 years. This hearing is a ray of hope for Satish Kumar Tickoo's family."

Bains said the next hearing had been scheduled for April 16 and that the court had also asked of the J&K administration why no charge-sheet had been filed against Karate. Karate had been arrested in Srinagar in June 1990 under the stringent Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act and was in jail till 2006, after which he was released on indefinite bail.

He was arrested again in 2019 by the NIA on charges of terror funding.

The filing of the criminal application against Karate comes amid growing demand for reopening cases related to the killing of Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s.

The demand was made following the release of 'The Kashmir Files, which is the movie about the exodus of Pandits during the peak of insurgency in the Valley.

And a week before Satish Kumar Tickoo's family moved the court, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh had said that all cases of terrorism and against terrorists would be pursued.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)