In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, senior Hurriyat leader and renowned cleric, Maulana Sarjan Barkati, was released, today, from almost two months illegal detention. Sarjan Barkati had been kept at Zainapora police station in Shopian district for the last 14 days.
Earlier today, news portal The Kashmiriyat reported that Sarjan Barkati was shifted to a hospital after he fell ill at the police station, last night. His family members told The Kashmiriyat that Barkati had complained of chest pain, which the family thought was heart attack.
The Hurriyat leader, popularly known as ‘Azadi Chacha’, was taken into custody by the Indian police on 17 September 2022 when several other religious leaders from south Kashmir including Maulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi and Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri were arrested. Maulana Dawoodi and Maulana Veeri were booked under the draconian law, Public Safety Act, and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu. Sarjan Barkati has been arrested twice in the last two years.
It is worth mentioning here that Maulana Sarjan Barkati, a resident of Reban area of Shopian, became a household name during the mass uprising triggered by the extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, in July 2016 for his distinct style of sloganeering. He was arrested in October that year and subsequently booked under the PSA. A cleric and a charismatic crowd puller, Maulana Barkati was released in 2020 after being kept in illegal detention by the occupation authorities for four years.—KMS