Currently, Bitta Karate is the chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in the Vale of Kashmir.
Who is Bitta karate
Farooq Ahmed Dar known by his nom de guerre Bitta Karate is a Kashmiri-separatist militant, who currently serves as the chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (R) in the Kashmir Valley of Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Dar has admitted on camera to the killing of multiple Kashmiri Hindu pandits during the 1990 Kashmir insurgency leading up to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. He however later claimed that he hadn’t killed any Pandits and that the statement was made under duress. He was imprisoned from 1990 until 2006 under terrorism-related charges before being released on bail. He was arrested again in 2019 for financing terrorism.
About Bitta karate
For those who don’t know much about the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, the first time they would have perhaps heard about ‘Bitta Karate’ would have been in Rahul Pandita’s searing 2013 memoir, Our Moon Has Blood Clots. Bitta Karate (so called because of his brown belt), or Farooq Ahmad Dar, the man who killed a young Pandit businessman Satish Kumar Tickoo on February 2, 1990.
Pandita describes how he was called out of his home and shot at point-blank range. “Tickoo knew them,” he wrote. “One of them lived nearby and often took lifts from Tickoo on his scooter. When the man whipped out a pistol, Tickoo tried to save himself by hurling his kangri at the assailants. But it missed them. The first bullet hit him in his jaw. As he fell down, the men pumped several more into his body.”
A film has brought the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 back into public debate. Kashmiri Pandits were killed for being Hindu by terrorists on orders from Pakistan or outfits it sponsored. They were asked to choose between “raliv, galiv ya chaliv” (convert, die or leave). Scores were killed and tens of thousands fled the Kashmir Valley.
One of the biggest enforcers of Pakistan’s diktat was Farooq Ahmed Dar, also known as Bitta Karate. He is a free man now, for years, and heads the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the outfit that led the targeted killing of Kashmiri pandits.
In a 1991 interview, Bitta Karate admitted to killing “more than 20” Kashmiri Pandits or “maybe more than 30-40” in 1990, when the genocide was put to execution. Bitta Karate had become the dreaded name for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley and was dubbed as the “Butcher of Pandits”.