Mohammad Rafi Bhat: PhD professor turned Freedom Fighter martyred

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SRINAGAR: A PhD professor associated with the University of Kashmir was among those martyred by the Indian forces in recent clashes between the freedom fighters and security personnel.

Mohammed Rafi Bhat, a PhD scholar in his discipline, was on contract with the Kashmir University’s Sociology department as assistant professor. He had left the varsity premises on Friday and had been missing since then.

A statement by the University of Kashmir on Saturday said the sociology teacher, Mohammed Rafi Bhat, had been missing since Friday.

He was reportedly martyred by the Indian security personnel at the Badgam area of Shopian, nearly 80km from his house.

Indian Forces marryred five freedom fighters Sunday in Indian-held Kashmir, police said, while the second day of anti-India protests and clashes left five civilians dead and dozens of people injured in the disputed region.

Hundreds of villagers threw rocks at Indian troops in a bid to help rebels who were trapped in a house in southern Shopian area, police said. Counterinsurgency officers and soldiers cordoned the village following intelligence that a group of freedom fighters was hiding there, police said.

After several hours of fighting, five freedom fighters were martyred and a policeman and a soldier wounded, said S.P. Vaid, police director-general.

Vaid, a police director-general, revealed that the Indian forces “had made every effort so that they surrender” and had “even brought the university teacher’s father all the way to Shopian”.

Anticipating protests, the University of Kashmir on Sunday issued a statement saying the classes would remain suspended for the next two days “as a precautionary measure.”

*‘I AM SORRY IF I HURT YOU’:*

Funeral prayers held for Professor at Kashmir University

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 on Sunday.

Later on, funeral prayers in absentia were offered at Kashmir University campus by students for their professor, who was killed in Shopian gunfight after reportedly joining militancy a day before on Sunday. Reports said male as well as female students came out of their hostel blocks and marched through the campus chanting ‘Aazadi’ slogans. A funeral was offered on the campus by a large gathering.

Indian media reported that two of Bhat’s first cousins were also involved in the Kashmir freedom struggle and had died in the early 1990s. - Agencies

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