Slain professor left behind wife of three years, grieving community of students

Didn’t surrender,was merely 40 hours underground

ABID BASHIR
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 7 2018 12:12AM | Updated Date: May 7 2018 12:15PM
Slain professor left behind wife of three years, grieving community of studentsHabib Naqash/GK

Shocked at his death just 40 hours after he went underground, Dr Mohammad Rafi Bhat’s students remember their beloved teacher with fondest memories.

Bhat was a favourite of his sociology students at the University of Kashmir where he taught the subject for 18 months. They recall him as for his jolly nature, a unique style of teaching and a habit of exchanging ideas, gifts and books.

The 30 year old assistant professor, a resident of Chunduna village of Ganderbal district won his doctorate degree in sociology in November 2017 and soon started teaching. 

A close relative of Bhat said he would talk about the Kashmir dispute since his childhood and stand up against “oppression and atrocities” but never compromised on his studies earning a junior research fellowship with good marks and qualified NET required for teaching higher studies.  

On Friday Dr Bhat delivered his last lecture at the sociology department in the Naseem Bagh campus of the university and before heading out took a selfie with some of his students before exchanging gifts with them.

“He accepted a wrist watch as a gift from one of the students and (said in) a message that he loves every student from the heart,” said a student of sociology wishing not to be named.

 “He was our favourite. He was a power house of knowledge, rather an encyclopedia. Rafi Sir, would often gift books on sociology and literature to students,” the student said.    

None of his students suspected their favourite teacher would not return to embrace them again. 

Dr Bhat’s family waited until late Friday for him to return from the university.

“We became worried and informed police,” said a cousin of the professor, declining to be identified.  

“He would always talk about innocent killings and express his anger. Something was cooking in his mind for a long and perhaps that made him to take this extreme step. I could sense for a few days that he had chosen his path but was waiting for an opportunity.”  

Student’s love for Dr Rafi reflected on the social media after the news of his death spread across Kashmir. 

“And my Sir Muhammad Rafi, left for heavenly abode, I am in shock and can’t believe that you are no more. I remember your hugs, greetings, your words, jokes and lectures. You promised to me sir, you will give me book on ‘post modernism’, who will lend me the book,” one of his students wrote of his Facebook wall.

“Miss you Sir so much, and it’s my word that I will curse the killers always.” 

After he was trapped inside a military cordon in Badigam village of Shopian, along with four militants, Dr Rafi made one last call to his father, a retired government employee, asking for forgiveness. 

“Forgive me, if I have hurt you. I am going to meet Allah,” he told his father in the last call early on Sunday morning. 

Before all the five were killed the rebel professor had spent just 40 hours with the militants— from Friday 3 pm to 8 am on Sunday.

Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid said that it seems that Rafi’s family background was the reason that pushed him to militancy. 

“We came to know that his two cousins were killed in the past. That could also be the reason for him to join militancy. Besides, radicalisation seems to be another cause for Rafi to join militancy,” he said.

Rafi left behind his wife of three years and a grieving community of students. 

According to police, Dr Rafi is the first professor to join the new age militancy in Kashmir. Before him, Abdul Manan Wani, a PhD scholar from Aligarh Muslim University joined Hizbul Mujahideen early this year.

 

Latest News

  1. Video: Brave Sikh cop saves Muslim youth from angry mob outside temple in Uttarakhand
  2. Video: Brave Sikh cop saves Muslim youth from angry mob outside temple in Uttarakhand
  1. Police asked to investigate Hajin killing on fast-track basis: Naeem Akhtar
  2. Police asked to investigate Hajin killing on fast-track basis: Naeem Akhtar
  1. Srinagar family seeks help to trace missing elderly woman
  2. Srinagar family seeks help to trace missing elderly woman
  1. Pakistan warns of dangerous situation over water issues with India
  2. Pakistan warns of dangerous situation over water issues with India
  1. Khajuraho hottest place in India at 47.5 degrees
  2. Khajuraho hottest place in India at 47.5 degrees
  1. SSB announces change in test venues for teacher posts
  2. SSB announces change in test venues for teacher posts
  1. Want international support to press for Rohingyas' return: Hasina
  2. Want international support to press for Rohingyas' return: Hasina
  1. Major Gogoi to face Court of Inquiry
  2. Major Gogoi to face Court of Inquiry
  1. Muslim labourer thrashed for failing to name PM Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister
  2. Muslim labourer thrashed for failing to name PM Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister
  1. Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy wins floor test
  2. Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy wins floor test
  1. Hasina hopes India, Bangladesh will resolve disputes amicably
  2. Hasina hopes India, Bangladesh will resolve disputes amicably
  1. Mirwaiz blames deployment of forces for tension, agitation outside Jamia Masjid
  2. Mirwaiz blames deployment of forces for tension, agitation outside Jamia Masjid
  1. Car bomb kills six in Libya's Benghazi
  2. Car bomb kills six in Libya's Benghazi
  1. Army chief hints at extending Ramadhan ceasefire in Kashmir
  2. Army chief hints at extending Ramadhan ceasefire in Kashmir
  1. Dozens injured in Downtown Srinagar clashes
  2. Dozens injured in Downtown Srinagar clashes
  1. South Kashmir: Army's sniffer dog killed in Kulgam grenade blast
  2. South Kashmir: Army's sniffer dog killed in Kulgam grenade blast
  1. Exemplary punishment for Major Leetul Gogoi if found guilty: Army chief
  2. Exemplary punishment for Major Leetul Gogoi if found guilty: Army chief
  1. Police foil rifle-snatching bid by militants in south Kashmir; area cordoned off
  2. Police foil rifle-snatching bid by militants in south Kashmir; area cordoned off
  1. 2 Palestinians wounded in Gaza border clashes die
  2. 2 Palestinians wounded in Gaza border clashes die
  1. Omar Abdullah releases Rs 1.30 lakh rupees to help Kawoosa girl’s father build house
  2. Omar Abdullah releases Rs 1.30 lakh rupees to help Kawoosa girl’s father build house
  1. Special NIA court convicts five IM militants in Bodh Gaya serial blasts case
  2. Special NIA court convicts five IM militants in Bodh Gaya serial blasts case
  1. Gadkari advocates bringing fuel under GST
  2. Gadkari advocates bringing fuel under GST
  1. 15 injured in Canada Indian restaurant IED blast
  2. 15 injured in Canada Indian restaurant IED blast
  1. Train service suspended on Srinagar-Banihal route after protests
  2. Train service suspended on Srinagar-Banihal route after protests
  1. Four injured in Jammu grenade attack
  2. Four injured in Jammu grenade attack
  1. Five killed, eight injured in Jammu road accident
  2. Five killed, eight injured in Jammu road accident
  1. Missing Hajin youth joins militant ranks, gun-wielding picture surfaces on social media
  2. Missing Hajin youth joins militant ranks, gun-wielding picture surfaces on social media
  1. Man found dead with his throat slit in Hajin in north Kashmir
  2. Man found dead with his throat slit in Hajin in north Kashmir