The father of Rahul Bhat, the 36-year-old government employee from Kashmir who was shot dead in his house in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam, has called for an inquiry into his son’s death. A Special Investigation Team was formed today to investigate the murder, which has triggered outrage in Kashmir Valley.
Rahul Bhat, an employee of the Tehsil office in the Budgam district’s Chadoora, was shot by terrorists on Thursday. Critically injured, he was shifted to a local hospital where he died later.
Calling it a “targeted killing”, Bitaji Bhat said there should be “justice”.
“Two men came in the government office with pistols and fired. The police station is 20 meters away. Five shots were fired. At least some noise would have travelled outside. Why wasn’t there any action? There should be an inquiry into this,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
The murder of Rahul Bhat, along with the killing of another man on Friday — Riyaz Ahmad Thoker, a police constable and a resident of Pulwama — has set off shock and outrage.
The Kashmiri Pandit community are blaming the Central government, which has been ruling Jammu and Kashmir since 2018. Demanding safety, the community has alleged that the central government has failed them.
Overnight protests are being held in parts of the Valley. Candlelight vigils are continuing this evening in Srinagar, Ganderbal and Shopian.
“There is an atmosphere of fear. Many people have been shaken up. Whoever called from Srinagar spoke about fear, anger, being scared,” said Mr Bhat.
The Valley, he said, had already been under a pall of fear since the targeted killings started.
“And after this episode, people are more worried. Nobody knows if they go out in the morning to the market to get vegetables, they might not be targeted and shot… At least now, our kids should be provided security there,” he added.
His son, he said, had a seven-year-old daughter.
“She is suffering greatly. My son used to come at 6 pm. She has called 10 times, asking when her father would come. This is a lot for her to process,” he added.