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India continues its spree of illegal detentions of religious scholars in Kashmir

On 17th September, two days after detaining many prominent religious scholars and community leaders in Kashmir, the Indian government today arrested another renowned religious preacher, Sarjan Barkati. This is not the first time Barkati has been arrested. Following the killing of popular pro-freedom armed commander, Burhan Wani, in 2016, Barkati was kept under arbitrary detention for more than four years, only to be released in October 2020. He has now been detained again. Barkati has a small daughter who has been forced to see her father in prison. India has detained around seven religious activists or scholars, including Advocate Zahid Ali, in the past two days under the Public Safety Act, hinting at a systematic crackdown on religious groups in Kashmir. Notably, the detainees belong to different Islamic schools of thought or religious groups. One of the detainees, known as Nazir Ahmed Raina, suffers from partial paralysis. Other detainees include Faheem Mohammad Ramzan and Gazi Moin-ul-Islam Nadvi.[8][9]

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