Press Trust of india

Assistant Professor’s militancy stint lasted “less than 36 hours”

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Srinagar, May 6:The life of Mohammad Rafi Bhat, an assistant professor at Kashmir University, as a militant lasted less than 36 hours as he was among the five militants killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir today.

Bhat’s involvement with militancy began sometime late afternoon on Friday and ended after he was trapped in a security forces cordon at Badigam in Shopian late last night, making him an ultra with possibly the shortest active time in militancy in the state.

Bhat, a resident of Chundina area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was a contractual assistant professor in the Sociology department of the university and went missing around 3.30 pm on Friday.

He spoke to his mother the last time that day without giving any hint about his short-lived future plans.

Several youth, who joined the militant ranks in a wave following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016, have had a short life with some of them getting killed within a fortnight.

Bhat’s family informed university authorities about his disappearance yesterday morning, following which protests rocked the varsity campus over his disappearance.

The university’s vice chancellor had met the protesting students and assured them that all efforts would be made to trace the missing professor.

He had also written to the Director General of Police, requesting him that all efforts be made to trace Bhat’s whereabouts.

However, this morning Bhat was among the militants trapped in an encounter in Badigam village in Zainapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

The encounter broke out after a cordon and search operation was launched by security forces following specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

Police said they brought Bhat’s family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, but to no avail.

Reportedly, Bhat is among the militants trapped there. After receiving the input about his presence there, we brought his family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, but so far, repeated attempts have not materialized, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, S P Pani had said earlier.

Bhat was killed in the encounter along with four other militants.

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