Who is Bitta Karate, the ‘Butcher of Kashmiri Pandits’?


Karate was released on bail in 2006, sixteen years after his arrest, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his confinement under the Public Safety Act (PSA). On his release, he was greeted with a resounding welcome in the Kashmir Valley, with flower petals rained on him during a parade.

Who is Bitta Karate the Butcher of Kashmiri Pandits gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Mar 30, 2022, 1:11 PM IST

On behalf of the family of victim Satish Kumar Tickoo, a criminal application has been filed in Srinagar Sessions Court against former Kashmiri separatist terrorist Farooq Ahmed Dar nicknamed Bitta Karate. Advocate Utsav Bains has also requested status reports on all FIRs filed against Karate, who is presently the chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front in the Kashmir Valley.

The targeted assassination of Kashmiri Pandits began in January 1990, shortly after the kidnapping of then-Union Home Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya, which resulted in the release of feared militants. Bitta Karate oversaw the genocide until his arrest in June 1990.

In 1991, while in custody, he gave an interview in which he stated that he became a terrorist “because I was persecuted by the local authority.” He also acknowledged to killing “more than 20” Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, or “perhaps more than 30-40.”

Karate insisted that he did not murder “innocent people,” instead following “orders from above” from JKLF top commander Ashfaq Majeed Wani. Wani was the one responsible for transporting Bitta Karate and others to Pakistan for terrorist training. He was later slain in an altercation.

Satish Kumar Tickoo was Karate’s first victim. Karate is accused of killing 42 people before being apprehended. “I used a handgun to kill from a distance of 20 or 30 yards,” he explained. He added, “I also fired AK-47 rifles at security guards on occasion.”

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Karate was released on bail in 2006, sixteen years after his arrest, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his confinement under the Public Safety Act (PSA). On his release, he was greeted with a resounding welcome in the Kashmir Valley, with flower petals rained on him during a parade.

Following the Pulwama tragedy, he was detained again by the NIA in 2019 on accusations of terror funding under anti-terror legislation.

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Last Updated Mar 30, 2022, 1:11 PM IST

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