Monday, April 4, 2011


Srinagar April 04 (Only Kashmir): He was once said to be responsible for hounding Kashmiri pundits from the Valley. Today, he claims he has undergone a change of heart and wants them to return.
Farooq Ahmad Dar nicknamed Bitta Karata, who was charged with the murder of at least 40 Kashmiri pundits, is now showing signs of a change of heart.Karata’s actions had forced several pundits to flee their homes.
“I am concerned about Kashmiri pundits. I have been trying to encourage them to return,” said Bitta Karata who heads the JKLF (R). “We are incomplete without Kashmiri pundits; Kashmiri culture is incomplete without them.”
Bitta, who spent around 17 years in jail, was acquitted of all murder charges by the Supreme Court.He earned the soubriquet, Karata as he was popularly known for his martial art skills.
Many of the pundits, who fled their homes and took refuge in migrant camps, are now settled in Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
“The JKLF (R) believes in co-existence and communal harmony. We had earlier appealed to our pandit brothers and sisters to return to the Valley,” Karata told Mumbai Mirror. “We [Muslims] are incomplete without them [pundits].”
‘We don’t need his invitation’However, the ‘welcome’ extended by Karata has not gone down too
well. Ajay Chrungoo, chairman of Panun Kashmir, an organisation of Kashmiri pundits, said, “We are from Kashmir and we need no invitation from anyone. Kashmir pundits are indigenous to the
Valley, we are inseparable from Kashmir.”


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