SIA raids 8 locations in crowd funding by Sarjan Barkati

SIA raids in South Kashmir amid tight security on Saturday. —Excelsior/Sajad Dar
SIA raids in South Kashmir amid tight security on Saturday. —Excelsior/Sajad Dar

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Mar 18: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) today conducted multiple raids across Kashmir regarding militancy funding case.

Click here to watch video
The SIA said that this morning they conducted searches at 8 different places to investigate the tributaries and distributaries of slush funds flowing through the known secessionist Maulavi Sarjan Barkati of South Kashmir for mobilising thousands onto streets during 2016 violent agitation, through his incendiary oratory.
The SIA said that they have registered a case (FIR No 02/23) related to crowd funding against Sarjan Barkati and others in which he has raised huge funds amounting more than Rs 1.5 crore, with his family making emotional appeals to general public to support them for day to day needs. Under this garb, he not only generated huge funds but prima facia also laundered money coming from unknown sources suspected to have originated from militant outfits for further use in sustaining the secessionist-militancy campaign.
“So far, SIA have identified 10 suspects whose involvement has surfaced in the initial investigation. The early morning raids spread over many districts of Kashmir are underway,” the statemen said.
“With the seizures of electronic gadgets, incriminating material and other corroborative evidence during these searches, SIA is hopeful that the searches would enable it to extract some vital evidence as to who all have contributed to the Sarjan Barkati fund, what was the source of such money, how much of it was from legitimate income and how much from unaccountable sources, whether such sources had anything to do with militant and Hurriyat finances,” he said.
Preliminary investigations have shown Sarjan Barkati has diverted a substantial part of the funds for his personal benefit and purchased a piece of land worth Rs 45 lakhs in Anantnag town in the name of his wife which he sold for Rs 72 lakhs, making a profit of Rs 27 lakhs and has also built a palatial house using public money. He has also purchased 5 kanals of land to establish a Madrassa which as per credible information is meant for making money and provide platform to anti national elements and also aimed to be a breeding ground for luring youth towards militancy,” he said.
“A large chunk of such ill-gotten money has been deposited in several FDRs in the name of his family members. Not only has the accused breached the public trust  with emotional blackmail by building a personal fortune on the crowd funds donated to him by public for the daily sustenance, he as well camouflaged money coming from suspects sources under the garb of crowd funding for furtherance of secessionist-militant campaign,” read the statement.