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Kashmiri Pandit family moves court for retrial of Bitta Karate

In a 1991 interview, Karate, then a leader of the banned JKLF, admitted to killing many Kashmiri Pandit inhabitants, including Satish Tickoo, during insurgency in the valley that led to the Hindu exodus

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Separatist and self-pronounced killer Farooq Ahmed Daar, alias Bitta Karate, may face a fresh in a Srinagar court where the kin of one of his victims has requested a status report on all first information reports (FIR) registered against the terrorist, including one in connection with the murder of Satish Kumar Tickoo, a member of the Kashmiri Pandit community.

In a 1991 Karate, a leader of the by then banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) admitted to killing many Kashmiri Pandits, including Tickoo, during insurgency in the valley that led to the local Hindus’ exodus.

Karate later said he did not kill anyone and claimed he had made the statement under coercion.

Advocate Utsav Bains has filed the criminal application on behalf of the Kashmiri Pandit family.

Bains told news agency ANI, “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 16 April and that the court had also asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration why no charge-sheet had been filed against Karate.

Police had arrested Karate in Srinagar in June 1990 under the stringent Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. He served a jail term till 2006, after which he was released on indefinite bail.

The arrested the terrorist again in 2019 on charges of terror funding.

The filing of the criminal application against Karate comes amid growing demand — since the release of the shocking film The Kashmir Files — for reopening cases related to the killing of members of the Kashmiri Pandit community in the 1990s.

A week before Satish Kumar Tickoo’s 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 reopened and examined anew.

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