AFTER THE Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government allegedly failed to provide security to the lawyer representing the family of the slain Kashmiri Pandit Satish Tikoo in connection to a murder case of the former allegedly by infamous militant Bitta Karate, the family has hit out at the BJP government for “using Kashmiri Pandits purely for electoral gains” and “weakening their cases” against those who murdered their kin in the 90s.
Utsav Bains, the counsel for Tikoo, whose story was featured in ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, had to return to Delhi from the Srinagar Airport after no security was given to him till the premises of Srinagar sessions court where he was due to argue the case on Tuesday, says the Ramesh Tikoo (Satish’s brother).
“We are convinced now that the BJP government is deliberately trying to weaken our case against the mass murderer of Kashmiri Pandits, Bitta Karate,” Ramesh Tikoo told India Ahead on Wednesday.
The remarks came a day after the Srinagar sessions court adjourned the hearing in the case against Farooq Dar alias Karate when the counsel of Tikoo and a Supreme Court lawyer Utsav Bains filed an application seeking an adjournment.
The application moved said, “As no security was provided to Advocate Utsav Bains by Jammu and Kashmir Police, in spite of orders by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the learned advocate has to, unfortunately, return back to Delhi after landing at the Srinagar Airport at 9 am”, the application said.
Rakesh Handu, a Kashmiri Pandit and a close friend of the Satish who has been pursuing the case said that this was a failure on the part of the BJP government and J&K administration.
He added that J&K Police was “well aware” that the Bains was arriving for the hearing and despite the knowledge, there was no arrangement for his security. “It is not like, we had to pre-inform about our counsel’s arrival. The court had very early assigned this date for the hearing,” he added.
Bains has been provided security by the Supreme Court earlier after he claimed that then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was being framed in a sexual harassment case in April 2019. Originally hailing from Chandigarh, Bains was to argue the case for Tikoo’s family in front of Additional Session Judge Srinagar Amit Gupta.
Ramesh Tikoo said asked who should they blame for this failure. “The raises a question mark. What we are learning is that they (Police) have told our lawyer that situation is not conducive for him to go to the court. Then what is the job of these security forces?” he asked.
Handu also said that how can they (security forces) say that this. “On one side, they take shoulder of Vivek Agnihotri and debate (to get) Yasin Malik (punished) and on the other side they fail here (to facilitate the judicial process). Is Bitta Karate any less criminal than the Yasin Malik?” he asked.
The family added that BJP is only blaming Congress for inviting Yasin Malik to the table. “What the hell are you (BJP) doing?” Handu said adding Yasin Malik has today accepted his crimes but Karate has done this before 20 years.
Ramesh Tikoo meanwhile said this fight is not just for the Satish Tikoo but all those murdered by Karate including Muslims. He added that family has been feeling insecure after the security was denied to the lawyer and this raises fears in them to pursue the case further.
Handu added that since last eight years, the BJP government is only “selling their pain”. The family asserts that BJP is trying to delay the case deliberately to prepare it as a ground for the 2024 elections. “All the issues that could sell like Ram Mandir, NRC and Babri Masjid are over. Now they will pitch Yasin Malik for the 2024 elections,” Handu said adding that if they were really committed to get them punished, they would not ignore the security concerns of the families seeking justice.
Ramesh Tikoo said that despite supreme court giving Bains the central security cover why was there no personnel to guard him outside airport, an allegation denied by the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar who said an escort was waiting outside the airport since 8 AM in the morning.
“It is very clear that they are weakening the case by keeping it lingering on. There has not been a single word of condemnation from the local BJP leaders in J&K even (on this security denial). It is not a small case involving death of a single person. Dozens have been killed by him. They are taking very lightly and running this as per their voting agenda,” Tikoo said.
Demanding an answer from the Governer of J&K, he added that when the court can be opened in midnight for cases like Hathras and even for people like Tejinder Bagga why are we being treated as sons of lesser mothers.
May 23 has been assigned as the next date of hearing for this case.