In occupied Kashmir, the family members of Sarjan Barkati, the Hurriyet leader and popular sloganeer of the freedom movement, has said that Indian police are keeping him in illegal detention on new false charges after the High Court of the territory quashed his detention order issued under the black law, Public Safety Act (PSA).
According to media sources, Sarjan Barkati’s wife, Shabroza Begam, in an interview with a local English daily said that her husband was recently brought to the court in Shopian. “He told the judge that while he was in custody at Shopian police station, the police beat him ruthlessly and even broke one of his teeth. The judge then summoned two top police officers and warned them to not harass him again,” she said.
Sarjan Barkati’s family members say that they do not have any land or business. “We were wholly and solely dependent on him,” Shabroza said. “Every household in Kashmir remembers his freedom slogans. My father has taken upon the responsibility to feed us,” she said.
Sarjan Barkati, hailed as the ‘Pied Piper’ of south Kashmir during the 2016 uprising, has a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son who have been waiting for their father to come home for the past nine months.
Shabroza said that she had lost trust in the justice system. “After the cases against my husband are quashed, he is booked under fresh charges. Even the High Court granted him bail but the police re-arrested him,” she added.