SIA raids 8 places in J&K in connection with terror-funding case


The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police carried out raids at eight places on Saturday in a case related to collection of funds by Maulvi Sarjan Barkati, the face of ‘anti-national’ protests in 2016, and using the same for personal gains, officials said.

A cop stands guard as state investigation agency conducts raid in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

The SIA, a subsidiary of the crime investigation department (CID) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, had registered a case against Barkati earlier this year to probe the collection of funds as well as his ‘anti-national’ speeches.

According to the officials, it is alleged that more than 1.5 crore were generated through crowd-funding and from suspected terror sources, and utilised for personal benefits, profiteering and in furtherance of secessionist-terrorist campaigns.

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.

In 2016, Barkati, a resident of Zainpora in Shopian, became notorious for mobilising thousands of people onto streets for a violent agitation through his incendiary oratory.

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 45 lakh in Anantnag town in the name of his wife, which he subsequently sold for 72 lakh, making a profit of 27 lakh, and also built a palatial house using public money.

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