J&K terror-funding case: In a case related to the collection of funds by Maulvi Sarjan Barkati, the face of “anti-national” protests in 2016, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police carried out raids at eight places on Saturday.
Earlier this year, a case was registered against Barkati by the SIA, a subsidiary of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, to probe the collection of funds as well as his “anti-national” speeches.
According to the officials, it is alleged that more than Rs 1.5 crore were generated through crowdfunding and from suspected terror sources, and utilised for personal benefits, profiteering and in furtherance of secessionist-terrorist campaigns.
What’s the case against Maulvi Sarjan Barkati?
In 2016, Barkati, a resident of Zainpora in Shopian, became notorious for mobilising thousands of people onto the streets for a violent agitation through his incendiary oratory. It is alleged that Barkati used to openly invite and incite youngsters to take to violence and pull down the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir.
Barkati and others are alleged to have made a huge amount of money by making emotional appeals to the public to support them for their day-to-day needs. Under this garb, Barkati not only generated huge funds but prima facie, also laundered money coming from unidentified sources, suspected to have originated from terror outfits, for further use in sustaining the secessionist-terrorist campaigns, the officials said.
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SIA zeroed in 10 suspects so far
The SIA has so far identified 10 suspects whose involvement has surfaced in the initial investigation. The early morning raids spread over many districts of Kashmir are still underway. With the seizures of electronic gadgets, incriminating material and other corroborative evidence, the SIA is hopeful that the searches would enable it to extract some vital leads, including on whether these funds had anything to do with terror and Hurriyat finances.
Preliminary investigations have shown Barkati has diverted a substantial part of the funds for his personal benefits and purchased a piece of land worth Rs 45 lakh in Anantnag town in the name of his wife, which he subsequently sold for Rs 72 lakh, making a profit of Rs 27 lakh, and also built a palatial house using public money.
(With PTI inputs)