Farooq Ahmed Dar aka Bitta Karate was born on 1 January 1973. He was born in Guru Bazar neighbourhood of the city of Srinagar in the Kashmir Valley.
He currently serves as the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.
His pet name was ‘Bitta’ and ‘Karate’ suffix was given to his pet name because of his prowess in martial arts. He is also known as the ‘Butcher of Kashmir Pandits’.
Bitta used to work for his family business but he left his home to receive arms training and become a terrorist in his early 20s. He crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in 1988 with the help of then Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) commander Ashfaq Majeed Wani.
He, along with other trainees, was blindfolded to be taken to Pakistan-administered Kashmir to receive 32-day armed training in a state-sponsored Pakistani militant training camp.
His first victim was his very close friend Satish Kumar Tickoo. The murder trial has been reopened by Tickoo’s family in March 2022.
Satish was a young businessman who was assassinated in front of his house. He had also been a key offender in the brutal killings and exodus of Kashmiri pandits in 1990.
In a 1991 interview, he had admitted that he had killed over 20 Kashmiri Pandits. Later, he denied all the claims that he had made in that video interview and stated that he made that confession under duress. He stated that he became a terrorist because he was harassed by the local administration.
Bitta was arrested under Public Safety Act on 22 June 1990. He remained in jail for 16 years and was released on indefinite bail by a TADA court in 2006. There are over 19 terrorism cases registered against him.
Initially, Bitta was granted bail for four months against a bail bond and personal surety of ₹1 lakh each. The Supreme Court of India quashed his detention after which he was released.
“The court is aware of the fact that the allegations against the accused are of serious nature and carry a punishment of death sentence or life imprisonment but the fact is that the prosecution has shown total disinterest in arguing the case,” the TADA court had noted.
National Investigation Agency arrested him again in 2019 on charges of terror financing after the Pulwama attack.
Bitta Karate Confession Video
Here is a small transcript of 1991 Interview with Bitta Karate Confession
Interviewer: When did you commit your first murder?
Bitta Karate: Let me think. My first murder…I killed Satish. Satish Kumar Tickoo
Interviewer: Who was he?
Bitta Karate: I got orders from above to kill him. I did.
Interviewer: Who was he?
Bitta Karate: A Pandit Boy.
Interviewer: You killed him just because he was a Pandit?
Bitta Karate: No, perhaps he was from RSS.
Interviewer: So, is it a crime to be in the RSS? It means if someone is a member of RSS, you’ll murder him?
Bitta Karate: I used to get instructions from above to kill so and so. If someone else get the orders instead of me, he had to kill.
Interviewer: What did you kill with?
Bitta Karate: Pistol.
Interviewer: Always with a pistol or with AK-47 too?
Bitta Karate: Pistol. With AK-47, we used to fire at security forces and killed lone target with pistol
Interviewer: Did you go alone or were there 2-3 people with you?
Bitta Karate: Alone usually.
Bitta Karate: No. Without a mask.
Interviewer: You mean people saw you in the act of killing.
Bitta Karate: Yes
Interviewer: People recognized you
Bitta Karate: Yes
Interviewer: The people did not hand you over to the police?
Bitta Karate: No. Those days people used to support.
Interviewer: Did it ever happen that you wanted to kill someone, you tried and failed?
Bitta Karate: No.
Interviewer: Whenever you tried, you succeeded?
Bitta Karate: Yes. I succeeded. My aim was accurate.
Interviewer: So, what was your specialty? How was it that you always succeeded?
Bitta Karate: It depends on muscle power. Firing a pistol is the toughest and it requires good muscle power.
Interviewer: And you shot from close range?
Bitta Karate: No. From quite a difference.
Interviewer: How much?
Bitta Karate: 30 yards, 20 yards.
Interviewer: You used to fire from so far with a pistol?
Bitta Karate: Yes.
Interviewer: Where did you aim? The head or the heart?
Bitta Karate: Usually the head or the heart.
Interviewer: So, when people died, or writhed before you…Did you ever feel – What am I doing? I’m killing another human being.
Bitta Karate: Initially yes, not later on.
I’ll Accept Whatever Punishment They’ll Give
He also talked about being deceived by Pakistan
Bitta Karate: They said in 1988 when I infiltrated…when they trained us, they said – you do something from within and when the people are with you, leave the rest to us
Interviewer: Meaning Pakistan will?
Bitta Karate: Attack India, fight India.
Interviewer: So, that did not happen!
Bitta Karate: No. That did not.
Interviewer: Then, how did you feel?
Bitta Karate: I felt very bad
Interviewer: Meaning you felt cheated?
Bitta Karate: Cheated very badly.
Interviewer: Do you feel that the path you militants have adopted of shooting and blasting bombs, of killing innocent people, will lead you to your goal of breaking India, or separating Kashmir from India?
Bitta Karate: I think it is difficult.
Interviewer: Is it difficult or impossible?
Bitta Karate: Both difficult and impossible.
Interviewer: Then, why are you people adopting this path if your aim is not going to be fulfilled?
Bitta Karate: Now my brothers should talk to the government. The militants should talk to the government. Dacoities and rapes are taking place.
Interviewer: What is taking place?
Bitta Karate: Rapes
Bitta Karate: The girls are being raped.
Interviewer: Who is committing them?
Bitta Karate: I don’t know who but they are taking place. A lot of atrocities are being committed. Dacoity, extortion at gunpoint
Interviewer: By the militants? Do the militants also rape?
Bitta Karate: They rape too.
Interviewer: And they are also pressurizing the people to marry off their daughters to so and so.
Bitta Karate: I don’t know about that.
Interviewer: But you know that the militants rape the girls?
Bitta Karate: Yes. They do.
Interviewer: And extort money at gunpoint?
Bitta Karate: And extort money at gunpoint.
Interviewer: What will be your punishment?
Bitta Karate: Whatever they give, it is acceptable.
Interviewer: What do you think will be your punishment?
Bitta Karate: I might get life imprisonment or even the death penalty by hanging.
Interviewer: What is the possibility?
Bitta Karate: I think it will be death by hanging.
Interviewer: Is it acceptable to you?
Bitta Karate: Yes. It is acceptable.