Barkati completes 840 days in jail, family living distressed life

Srinagar, February 18, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyat leader, Sarjan Barkati of Reban village in Shopian district has completed 840 days (two years and four months) in jail. Sarjan Barkati was arrested in Kulgam district for his wide participation in public gatherings in 2016 after the valley rose in protest against the martyrdom of popular youth leader, Burhan Muzaffar Wani.

Barkati’s family including his wife Shabrooza, daughter Sughra and son Azaan have been living a distressed life in a house shared by two families including their neighbour. They have only two rooms in a shared house. Azaan is a kindergarten student while Sughra is studying in class 5th at a private school. The family said that a person is voluntarily taking the expenses of education of both the children.

There were 57 cases against Barkati, the family said adding being a famous crowd puller, he got a name of ‘pied piper of south Kashmir’. They said that most of the cases were quashed by the court and despite that several are pending without bail under which he has been booked.

One of the lawyers defending Barkati in the cases said, “He (Barkati) is currently booked under the arms act and murder case”. His wife says all the cases are ‘fake’. “The policeman during the protests tried to throw a shell on civilians but that exploded in his own hand while my husband was not there,” she said.

Shabrooza said that it is getting tougher to handle the children and bear the daily expenses even at the time when her children enquire about the whereabouts of their father. “The wealth of whole world can’t provide the love of a father. My son who is around five-year-old isn’t in a position to understand where his father is,” she said, adding she wants release of her husband so that they can save the education and better life of their children.

Locals from the Reban said that Sarjan Barkati has no land, business or any means to fulfil the needs of the family. They said that since his arrest they have nothing but the mercy of God. Barkati’s daughter, Sugra said that she was dreaming to become a doctor but the continued detention of her father has vanished her dreams and they are apprehensive about their survival. “How long people will help us and how long will we live life without father,” Sugra said.

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