Zahid Rasool Bhat, set ablaze for being a Muslim in Indian-administered Kashmir

Published: October 24, 2015

Bhat’s killing raged violent protests followed by shutdown on Monday called by the pro-freedom factions.

Indian-administered Kashmir is on the boil against the mob killing of 18-year-old Zahid Rasool Bhat, who was attacked with petrol bombs on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway near Udhampur on October 9th, when he was travelling back to the valley from New Delhi.

Bhat, the Kashmiri trucker, sustained serious injuries when the right-wing goons mercilessly beat him up and set him ablaze. Bhat’s killing raged violent protests followed by a shutdown on October 12th, called by the pro-freedom factions. The same day, the Jammu and Kashmir government had imposed strict restrictions in most parts of Kashmir to prevent protests against Bhat’s killing. However, Bhat’s body was taken for burial in a large procession by residents of Batengoo, his native village, amidst pro-freedom and anti- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sloganeering by the mourners.

Majority of the pro-freedom leaders were put under house arrest. They held pro-India politicians responsible for Bhat’s killing, as the latter failed to provide security to the truckers.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed expressed shock over the death of the young man and assured that the person involved in the dastardly act will be punished. However, former Chief Ministers Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah blamed the BJP and its ruling alliance partners for “stoking communal passions” which led to the Udhampur attack.

Kashmiri womens gather around the body of Zahid Rasool Bhat, who died of serious burns caused in an attack by Hindu fanatics in Udhampur district of Jammu earlier this month.

Kashmiri Muslims mourn on seeing the body of Zahid Rasool Bhat, who died in a New Delhi hospital after receiving massive burn injuries on October 9 in a mob attack.

Protests broke out during the funeral procession of Zahid Rasool Bhat, who died in a New Delhi hospital after receiving massive burn injuries on October 9 in a mob attack.

Relatives of a truck driver Zahid Rasool Bhat, mourn over his death as they carry the coffin during his funeral procession at Batengoo village in Anantnag district.

Thousands of people converged at the house of Zahid Rasool Bhat, at Batengoo village here to participate in his funeral prayers. Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the mourners carried Zahid’s body on a procession to his ancestral graveyard.

Despite heavy rains and government imposed curbs, thousands of people participated in the funeral of Zahid Rasool Bhat.

Pakistan flag was unfurled during the funeral procession of the Kashmir trucker who succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

Kashmiri Womens shout slogans as they mourn over the death of a truck driver Zahid Rasool Bhat, during his funeral procession at Batengoo village in Anantnag district.

The prevailing situation in the Indian-administered-Kashmir and the rise of communal incidents against minorities in India is a disturbing trend. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, whose party has formed an alliance with BJP-led Narendra Modi’s government in the conflict-ridden state, is helpless in the face of his coalition partner’s ideological fervour. As long as Modi does not discard the hindutva elements in the country, the situation will continue to remain troublesome.

Sameer Mushtaq

Sameer Mushtaq

The author is a photo journalist based in Delhi and he has covered the conflict in Kashmir since 2012. His work has been published on international media, which includes Huffington post, The Newshub, Focus tv Khabar Asia, Demotix and Corbies.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Bibloo

    True face of Bharat emerging. Scary, demon like. The saintly mask has been
    burnt. Shining Bharat? No, Scary, drenched in blood Bharat. As the whole World

  • wb

    Zahid Rasool Bhat was set ablaze because people suspected that he carried beef, ))not because he was Muslim. And the culprit (no matter who they are) should be punished. And they have already been arrested.

    Pro-Pakistan, anti-Hindu elements in Indian part of Kashmir want to bring violence in the state. That’s why they used the opportunity to create problem.

    In India, in the laast month there have been three heinous attacks on Hindus by Muslims. There was no riot. Burkha Dutt did not conduct a program and demanded that Modi should condemn the atrocitie by Muslims. Muslim authors did not return their awards in protest. Sameer Mushtaq did not write a blog.

    Because speaking truth in India is considered being equal to anti-Muslim.

    1) Last week, a Hindu minor woman was gang raped thrice in 20 days by her Muslim friends in Mumbai.
    2) On the same week as Dadri lynching, a anti-beef activist Prashant Pujari was hacked to death by 8 Muslims in Mangalore. (
    3) Even before Dadri lynching, a constable was lynched in Maharashtra outside a mosque as a “revenge against beef ban.” (

  • Rajiv

    he was just a truck driver,Recommend

  • Ahmed

    When Muslims do some heinous act..In India this does not becomes news…because this is true secularism….but when some communal uneducated hindu or some other religion people do something than it suddenly becomes news and its a communalism. to you people……When Hindu’s flay becomes communal….but when cows and goats are cut’s in front of small childrens with cruelty….it becomes…secularism…man grow India this is not a hindu/muslim problem…this is problem of educated/uneducated….Man has made religion and not religion made man…..think practically….kashmir is not a political problem..its a religious problem…and you guys are not accepting it…….Recommend

  • Indian

    yes we are developing cannibalistic taste now…Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Please stop spreading ill will with such blogs .Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Your comment is as misguided as this blog .Recommend

  • Ravi Blr

    You have just had two suicide bombings of Shias in your country in two days, with close to 40 people dead. Should you not worry about where your country is going, rather than where India is going? India will be equal to Pakistan in intolerance when the Muslim population is down to 2% in India, like Hindus in PakistanRecommend

  • Videlicet

    Attacks and lynching are despicable indeed. But this write-up, especially the last para, is strange enough for me to raise questions about the author’s understanding of Indian politics:

    1. “whose party has formed an alliance with BJP-led Narendra Modi’s government”- J&K CM’s party has formed an alliance with BJP (party). It cannot form an alliance with a government. Modi’s central government has nothing to do with this.

    2. “As long as Modi does not discard the hindutva elements in the country, the situation will continue to remain troublesome”– this is again a frequently adopted stance of anti-BJP people who do not understand Indian civics. The central government, represented by the union cabinet and headed by the PM (Modi now) has little say in day-to-day happenings in individual states. The union government makes laws on subjects on union list, does the budget etc., but cannot control such day-to-day incidents.

    “Law-and-order” is a state subject. People just like to blame the Centre, more so, the people not educated or not educated in regular schools where mathemetics, science, social studies are taught.Recommend

  • Brutus

    Mr. Sameer Mushtaq
    After reading your blog (in fact there isn’t much to read, other than few emotive photographs to see) I scrolled down to read comments and found @wb’s little, but pertinent, logical and of course reasonable reply to your complaints against Indian democracy and secularism. As I write this, timer on @wb’s post shows that his reply was published almost 12 hours before, but, I don’t find you or your ilk, responding to the questions raised by him. Of coarse, I am not waiting for the answers from those donned in pseudonyms such as “sane” while writing absolute gibberish!

    Anyway, I get your answer or not, I know the truth and the truth is you people hate mother India and hatred begets hatred!Recommend

  • XY

    Yeah just bury your head in the sand and pretend all problems in India are created by PakistanRecommend

  • Rajiv

    Yeah the whole world is watching and denying Muslims any entrance in Europe.
    keep living in your dreams.Recommend

  • Gulwant Singh Bedi

    How about using your own name? Instead of hiding behind a fake Muslim name.Recommend

  • wb

    There’s nothing wrong in hating mother India. But their hatred is towards Hindus. This was known from the beginning, but became obvious when they threw out about 200,000 Hindu Pundits from the valley.

    Terrorists have repeatedly attacked and killed Hindus in the valley.

    Sameer Mushtaq has never written a blog about it.

    He still has time. I challenge him to be unbiased (since he’s a journalist, or claims to be one) and write about the rising Islamism in the valley. Write about how Kashmiri separatist Muslims are supporting and hosting Pakistan terrorists. Write about the blatant support to Islamic State in Kashmir.

    One thing is certain thought, by supporting Islamic State and other terrorists, even genuine separatists have diluted their cause. The world has little interest in Kashmir. But today even more so, because Kashmiri separatism is all about religion. And the world doesn’t care about Islamists anymore. So, the Islamist agenda of Kashmir separation will die a natural death.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    If he was not in Jammu he would have lived.Recommend

  • Sane

    And you are in process to bring Muslims population in India from 20% to 2%.Recommend