Trial began into the murder of Kashmiri Pandit Satish Tickoo in sessions court Srinagar on Wednesday after 31 years after the family of Tickoo filed a criminal application for status reports of all the FIRs registered against former militant and JKLF leader Farooq Ahmad Dar, alias Bitta Karate, lawyer of the Tickoo’s family Utsav Bains said.
The advocate said that the trial has raised hope for the family as the court sought to know from the government what has happened for 31 years in this case.
“It was the first physical hearing of the murder trial of Tickoo who was murdered by Bitta Karate, which he has accepted in a video confession with the BBC,” said Bains.
“What is positive for us is that the court is actively hearing our side. And the court also asked the state what they have filed till now. What has happened for 31 years in this case? Whether charge-sheet has been filed or not? So they were severely reprimanded by the court. There is a ray of hope for the family. And they should get justice,” he said.
Dar had given an interview in early 1990s on camera when he was under detention in which he accepted “killing many Hindus and Muslims”, including Satish Tickoo, when the militancy had erupted in Jammu and Kashmir. Dar is currently in jail after he was arrested by the NIA in a terror-funding case.
“Almost 31 years have passed and the family doesn’t know what has happened to the case. And the most surprising thing is that when Bitta Karate gets bail (in this case), the judge writes in its bail order that the prosecution has taken no interest in this case. He gets bail because government has not taken any interest in this case. Has he any sort of immunity that there is no prosecution or no charge sheet is filed against him for 31 years?” Bains said. The court has fixed the next date of hearing in the case on April 16.
Meanwhile, Tickoo’s lawyer Utsav Bains on Thursday filed a criminal revision petition challenging the dismissal of an application by a magistrate court which was filed by the slain man’s brother Maharaj Krishan Tickoo last year but his counsel could not appear in the case.
Maharaj Krishan had filed the application seeking direction to complete the investigation into killing of Satish Tickoo in February 1990 and filing of the charge-sheet which was dismissed in default( non appearance of the counsel) by the court.
Today the family counsel Bains filed the criminal revision petition against this dismissal.
In the Revision Petition, he is seeking to set aside order dated 01.9.2021 passed in Application u/s.156 No.197/2021 by the Judicial Magistrate/Special Mobile Magistrate / Railway Magistrate Srinagar.
The session court today listed on April 16 the Criminal Revision Petition challenging the order passed by the Magistrate.