Idrees Ali

 “Never thought Rafi would join militancy”

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GANDERBAL May 06: Family of slain teacher turned militant Dr Mohammad Rafi was dumbstruck when Dr Rafi called them today early morning saying “he had joined militancy and is trapped in an encounter in a Shopian village.”

Ghulam Hassan uncle of Dr Rafi said, “Today around 7AM, Shabi (Dr Rafi) called and talked with his father, mother and wife. He told them that he has joined militancy and has been trapped. He told them to forgive him saying ‘this was his destiny’.”

Cousin of Dr Rafi remembers him as an obedient person.

“I am yet to believe that Rafi had joined militancy. A few days ago he told his father that he is thankful to Allah for all his blessings but today everyone in Rafi’s family was shocked to know that he had joined militancy.”

Students of Department of Sociology at Kashmir University visited Dr Rafi’s village in Ganderbal to attend his funeral prayer.

With moist eyes one of the students said, “He was our beloved teacher. He always stood for justice. He used to advice us that we should never succumb to injustice. His decision to take up the arms is really shocking for all his students.”

Family members of Dr Rafi told ‘Kashmir Images’  that he went missing, on 4 may, after offering Friday prayers .

Police sources today said that Dr Rafi along with his other associates of HM was trapped in Shopian.

“Police even brought the family members of Dr Rafi near the encounter site in order to persuade him to surrender but he refused the offer.”

Meanwhile, Dr Rafi was laid to rest on Sunday in Chunduna Ganderbal amid pro-freedom, pro-Islamic and Anti-India slogans.

An eye witness said that a large number of people from all across the Kashmir thronged the village of slain professor.

Earlier, as the news about the killing of Dr Rafi spread in Ganderbal, scores of people hit the streets to protest the killing.

Intense clashes were reported from various parts of Ganderbal.


I am sorry if I hurt you, said son, in last call to father

Srinagar, May 6 (PTI) He was sorry if he had hurt his parents, the son told his father on the phone.

It was the first call of the day that Fayaz Ahmed Bhat received from his sociologist son  — and the last ever.

Bhat was still bleary-eyed at his residence in Chundana in Ganderbal when his mobile phone rang early this morning, he told the police later.

It was his son Mohammed Rafi Bhat. calling to bid farewell.

“I am sorry if I have hurt you,” Rafi told his father before he was gunned down in an encounter with security forces at Shopian in South kashmir today.

Rafi had left home on Friday last week and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, the police said.

The Jammu and Kashmir police, which was monitoring all calls from the encounter site, quickly got cracking and sent a police team to Bhat asking him to convince his son to surrender.

Rafi Bhat, a 33-year-old professor on contract with the Kashmir University’s Sociology department, had left the varsity premises on Friday and had been missing since then.

Reports had suggested he had joined the militant group but his father had repeatedly told the police Rafi would not pick up arms.

Fayaz Ahmed Bhat, who was an overground worker for a militant outfit in the early 1990s, had been keeping a strict watch on his son ever since he had attempted to move to Pakistan-administered Kashmir at age of 18 but was caught by the police and handed over to his parents.

Rafi, a Ph.D in his discipline, was among five militants killed by security personnel at the Badgam area of Shopian, nearly 80km from his house.

Two of his first cousins were also involved in militancy and had died in the early 1990s.

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