SHOPIAN: The family of Sarjan Barkati, the popular sloganeer of the freedom movement, has told Kashmir Reader that police are keeping Barkati in jail on new charges after the High Court quashed his detention order issued under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Shabroza, Barkati’s wife, 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,” Shabroza said.
Barkati’s family doesn’t have any land or business. “We were wholly and solely dependent on him,” Shabroza said. “Every household in Kashmir remembers his freedom slogans but not his family. My father has taken upon the responsibility to feed us,” she said.
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 no one visits their home to offer help or comfort. “Now we have no one other than Allah. Everyone has forgotten my husband but remembers his slogans,” she said.
“I have lost trust in the justice system. After the cases against him are quashed, he is booked under fresh cases. Even the High Court granted him bail but the police re-arrested him,” she said.