Bitta Ji Bhat and his wife have yet to reconcile with the death of their son. Yet, what breaks their heart the most is their 4-year-old granddaughter oblivious to the reality that her father is no more.
“My eyes get teary when I see my granddaughter play around, not knowing that cruel hands of death have snatched her papa,” Bhat said on a recent afternoon at his modest home in Jammu, a Hindu-dominated city in Muslim-majority Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Bhat’s son, a Hindu revenue clerk, was fatally shot inside his office in Kashmir Valley in May. Two days later, police said they had shot dead the anti-India rebels responsible in a gunfight.
That hasn’t eased the deep mourning of Bhat’s parents.
“What could be more agonizing and painful for a father like me who had to see the dead body of his son,” Bhat said. In front of him lay a framed picture of his son, Rahul Bhat. He was 35.
Kashmir has witnessed a spate of targeted killings in recent months. Several Hindus,…