Srinagar: In a major crackdown on terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police raided 8 locations. According to the information provided by the officials, the SIA conducted the raid in connection with a case related to the collection of donations by cleric Sarjan Barkati, who was the face of ‘anti-national’ protests in 2016, and using the said amount for personal gains. In 2016, Barkati used to instigate people to take to the streets with his speeches.
1.5 crore was raised through donations
The SIA, a subsidiary wing of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, had registered a case against Barkati earlier this year in connection with a probe into his fundraising and ‘anti-national’ speeches. According to officials, it is alleged that Rs 1.5 crore was raised through donations through suspected terrorist sources and used for personal gains, profiteering and furthering separatist-terrorist campaigns. Barkati and others are alleged to have made huge sums of money by making emotional appeals to people to fulfill their daily needs.
Bought a plot in wife’s name and sold it at a profit
Preliminary investigation has revealed that Barkati has diverted a major chunk of money for his personal gains and bought a plot in Anantnag city worth Rs 45 lakh in the name of his wife, which he sold for Rs 1 lakh and made a profit of Rs 27 lakh. He has also built a palatial house with public money. Barkati also bought 5 kanals of land to set up a madrasa, with the aim of earning money and providing a platform to anti-national elements. Also, his aim was to use it to push the youth towards terrorism.
Barkati used to instigate the youth
Officials said that through this public appeal, Barkati not only raised huge sums of money, but also laundered money received from unknown sources (suspected terrorist organizations) to sustain separatist and terrorist operations. Barkati, a resident of Shopian’s Jainpura, became notorious in 2016 for violent agitation through his inflammatory speeches that mobilized thousands of people on the streets. He was arrested during the violence that broke out after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in 2016.