The killing of Bhat triggered violent protests, leading to the deaths of five civilians.
Security agencies on Sunday eliminated five Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists including its top commander Saddam Padder and a fresh recruit, Rafi Bhat, a Kashmir University assistant professor-turned-terrorist. The killing of Rafi triggered violent protests, leading to the deaths of five civilians.
The other slain terrorists were identified as Bilal Ahmad Mohand, Adil Ahmed Malik and Tauseed Ahmad Sheikh. The killing of Bhat, a PhD scholar and an assistant professor in the Kashmir University, sent shockwaves across the valley. It has been reported that Bhat was killed within 40 hours of joining militancy.
Rafi had reportedly called his father Abdul Raheem Bhat on Sunday morning, saying, “I am trapped. Please forgive me for my mistakes. I am going to meet Allah”. These were the last words Abdul Raheem could hear from his son.
“Missing” since Friday afternoon, Rafi was an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Kashmir in Srinagar for the last two years.
A resident of Ganderbal districts of Jammu and Kashmir, Rafi had been shortlisted for the post of assistant professor at the University of Hyderabad recently. Known as a brilliant professor among his students and colleagues, Rafi had topped the list of those who had made the cut in Hyderabad University, The Indian Express reports.
The 32-year-old professor had completed his doctorate in sociology last November from Kashmir University. The slain militant had qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) twice and was a Junior Research Fellow.
Speaking to The Indian Express, one of Rafi’s teacher said he was a brilliant student and a teacher, adding,he qualified most of the competitive examinations in his subject and had 29 publications to his credit.
Bhat had joined Kashmir University over a year ago as a contractual assistant professor. Expressing shock over the death, the Head of Department of sociology at Kashmir University, Peerzada Amin, said, Rafi was a very competent professional.
At his village in Ganderbal’s Chunduna, people remembered him as a “pious and down-to-earth” man.
However, Rafi’s family have a militant past. He is reportedly the third member of his family to join militancy. Earlier, two of his cousins had joined militancy and were killed in the early 90s.
About other militants killed in encounter
Saddam Padder, the top commander killed in encounter, hailed from Heff in Shopian region. As per police, Padder was active since September 2014, Adil Ahmed Malik was active since 2014, Tauseed Ahmad Sheikh from 2013, while Bilal Ahmed Mohand was into terrorism since 2016.
As per police, a picture of 10 Hizbul Mujahideen militants at an apple orchard had created a stir in the valley. These 10 militants were touted by insurgent groups as “Kashmir’s new boys” who had taken up arms. With Padder’s killing, all the 10 militants have been eliminated now.