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Kashmiri Pandit killing: Satish Tikoo's family files fresh plea to place on record Bitta Karate's video confession as proof

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): The family of Satish Tickoo who was allegedly murdered by terrorist Bitta Karate filed a new application to place on record Bitta Karate's shocking video confession that the first Kashmiri Pandit he murdered was Tickoo. The application was filed through advocate Utsav Bains and supported by activist Vikas Raina. The application, along with video footage and transcript, will be heard tomorrow at Srinagar Sessions Court. Earlier on April 16, a session court postponed the hearing of the case against terrorist Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, accused of killing many Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s. The court will next hear the case on May 10. Nearly after 31 years of the massacre, the trial proceedings of the case began following the petition filed by the relatives of Satish Tikku, one of the first victims of terrorism in the Kashmir Valley. The first hearing of the petition seeking reopening of the case was held on March 30, which was allegedly disrupted by Bitta Karate's lawyer. Following this, the court adjourned the hearing till April 16. The next hearing of the case was to be heard on April 16. But due to the judge hearing the case being on leave, it has been deferred till May 10. Advocate Utsav Bains filed the application on behalf of the family of victim Satish Kumar Tickoo in Srinagar Sessions Court for status reports of all the FIRs registered against terrorist Bitta Karate. Notably, an NGO working for the Kashmiri Pandits on March 24 had filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court seeking a probe into the killings in the Valley in 1989-90, during the height of militancy. The curative petition by the NGO, Roots in Kashmir, was filed against a 2017 order of the top court which had dismissed the organization's petition for probe citing a long delay. On July 24, 2017, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea filed by the NGO saying it is difficult to hold any probe and collect evidence on incidents that are more than 27 years old after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. The curative petition sought direction from the apex court to decide the case afresh on merit by way of providing hearing opportunities to the parties. It also said that the apex court "completely failed to appreciate that more than 700 Kashmiri Pandits were murdered during 1989-98 and FIRs were lodged in more than 200 cases, but not even a single FIR reached the stage of filing of chargesheet or conviction." The petition filed in 2017 by the NGO had sought that separatists like Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate, named in the FIRs, be tried for the murders.

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