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Kashmir Newz Specials

Bitta Karate distances from controversial interview

By Shahnawaz Khan

Srinagar
Nov 3, 2006:

Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, who was released on an interim bail by a TADA court last week says his 1990 controversial television interview was taken 'under duress'.

In a television interview after his arrest in 1990 Dar had admitted to killings of two dozen people mostly belonging to minority Hindu community in Kashmir Valley.

"I have never Killed any Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus). The interview was taken under duress by police. I was forced to admit killings which I never did," Dar told Kashmir Newz.

"I was subjected to third degree torture and forced for the interview," he added.

Dar has spent 16 years in confinement, without serving a sentence so far. Though granted bail earlier a few times by the state High Court and Supreme Court of India Dar was detained repeatedly under Public Safety Act.

"I was victimised because of this interview. My Pandit brothers have misconceptions about me," Dar said reiterating that he has never killed anyone.

Born in Guru Bazar locality of Srinagar, Farooq Ahamd Dar became a household name in Kashmir in the early nineties when armed anti-India insurgency broke out in Kashmir .

A member of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a militant outfit then, Dar was known more by his alias Bitta Karate, and considered among the front ranking JKLF activists. He was arrested on June 22, 1990 along with his two associates, and came to limelight soon after through the controversial television interview.

He resigned from JKLF in 1995 while in jail over 'differences with Chairman Yasin Malik'. After his release last week he joined the JKLF faction headed by Mohammad Salim alias Nannaji.

"I believe in an independent Jammu and Kashmir , which belongs to all, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and atheists." Dar says stressing his belief in a secular state.

Dar also cites former Governor Jagmohan responsible for the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit community from Kashmir Valley.

"Even Farooq Abdullah in an interview with India Today has blamed Jagmohan for migration of Pandits," he said.

Out on an interim bail for four months Dar says he will 'strive politically for a solution of Kashmir issue'.

Dar faces charges ranging from pistol snatching to attempt to murder. While police has failed to provide substantial charges and evidence against Dar, observers believe Dar's controversial interview was the main reason for his prolonged detention.

A large number of Kashmiri Pandits fled from the valley in 1990 after the outbreak of anti-India armed rebellion.

Pandit groups like Panun Kashmir have resented Dar's release and criticised the state for 'failing to frame charges against Dar' in 17 years and described it as a 'shocking reflection of state government's apathy for serving the needs of justice'.

Also Read: Driving to Freedom

             

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Kashmir Newz Specials
Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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