SRINAGAR: Mohammed Rafi Bhat, who was killed along with four other Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Shopian on Sunday, spoke to his father in the morning to seek forgiveness. Rafi, a resident of Ganderbal district and a contractual assistant professor in the University of Kashmir, had gone missing on Friday afternoon.
“He called father in the morning and sought forgiveness. He told him to forgive if he had hurt the family,” his elder brother Imtiyaz Ahmad told TNIE.On Friday, he had called his mother over phone and told her that he had left university and would reach home by evening. After he did not reach home, the family searched for him in campus and contacted their relatives and friends.
Subsequently, the family lodged a missing report with the police. Amid uncertainty, Abdul Rahim Bhat received a call from Rafi at 7:55 am informing him that he along with four other Hizbul terrorists were trapped by security forces at Shopian.
“This is my last call as I am going to meet the Almighty,” Imtiyaz quoted Rafi as telling their father.
Soon, the family members received a call from the police informing that Rafi was trapped and urged them to immediately reach Shopian to convince him to surrender.
“I, my parents, his wife and other relatives left for Shopian to persuade him to surrender. However, before we could reach and appeal him to surrender, he and four other militants were killed in the gunfight and the encounter was over,” Imtiyaz said.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, SP Pani said repeated attempts were made to make Rafi surrender. “We called him over phone and made announcements to make him surrender. We tried to get his family to the encounter site for his surrender,” he said. “We also used civilians and village headman to convince him to surrender.”
SSP, Shopian, Shailendra Mishra claimed Rafi was willing to surrender and was shot dead by the militants. Rafi’s body was recovered inside the house while the bodies of other militants were found outside the house, Mishra said. “We are 100 per cent sure that he was killed by the militants.”
“Sadly this is also an answer to those who claim jobs and development are the solution to the violence and alienation in Kashmir. This is another tragic development in a steady stream of tragedies in Kashmir,” National Conference working president Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Awarded PhD last year, Rafi was among educated youths to join militancy this year. A PhD scholar, M. Phil. scholars, B. Tech. pass-outs, MBA holders and a youth who cleared the NDA exam are among