Rafi Ahmed Bhat, a sociologist, working as a professor in Kashmir university who joined the Hizbul Mujahideen called his father Fayaz Bhat, before engaging the forces in a gunbattle.
“I am sorry if I have hurt you and this is my last call as I am going to meet Allah,” Rafi told his father, who recounted the conversation to the police.
Rafi, a 33-year-old professor in the Kashmir University’s Sociology department, had left the varsity premises on Friday and had been missing since then. A Ph.D in his discipline, he was among five militants killed by armed forces’ personnel at the Badigam area of Shopian, nearly 80 km from his house.
The Jammu and Kashmir police, which was monitoring the calls from the gunfight site, says that it sent a police team to Bhat asking him to convince his son to surrender.
The father, accompanied by his mother, sister and wife, started their journey from their home to the encounter site. But barely after reaching Bota Kadal, 14 km from their home, they heard the news about Rafi’s end. The family then returned home to prepare for his funeral.
Two of his first cousins had died in the early 1990s.
Rafi according to NDTV, was meeting Hizbul commander, Saddam Padder, when forces launched the operation, and had reportedly joined the organisation a few years ago.