SIA arrests wife of notorious secessionist in Kashmir terror funding case

| Updated: 25 November, 2023 6:15 pm IST

SRINAGAR: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) apprehended Shabroza Bano, the wife of jailed secessionist Sarjan Ahmad Wagay, alias Barkati, in connection with a terror funding case. Barkati, arrested in August, gained notoriety for promoting anti-India sentiments and secessionist ideals in South Kashmir, aligning himself with Qazi Nissar’s “Idara Tehkikaati.”

The case involves the Barkati family’s orchestration of an extensive fund-raising campaign, generating crores of rupees. An SIA official confirmed that the family raised approximately Rs 1.74 crore through crowd-funding campaigns.

These funds, ostensibly collected for personal gains, are alleged to have been misused for undisclosed purposes, including supporting secessionist and terrorist activities.

Barkati, known as “Azadi Chacha,” rose to prominence in 2016 after the neutralisation of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. Instrumental in organising protests and clashes, he faced over 30 FIRs for his role in the 2016 unrest.

The investigation by SIA Kashmir revealed that Barkati and his family not only exploited public sentiment but potentially laundered funds from unidentified sources linked to terrorist organisations.

A significant portion of the funds was traced to Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDRs) in the names of Barkati’s close family members, raising questions about the legitimacy of the sources and the utilisation of the funds. In 2016, Barkati played a crucial role in encouraging attacks on Indian security force camps during protests and strikes.

Sarjan Barkati, projecting terrorists as role models for Kashmiri youth, amassed wealth and assets for his children through illicit means, deceiving young minds with hate under the guise of vindication.

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