Bengaluru, July 26: The arrest and the subsequent interrogation of two persons suspected to be aides of Dr Zakir Naik has revealed the scale of the conversions (to Islam) that took place. Currently the police are scanning at least 5,700 conversions that have taken place in the past five years.
Out of this the police suspect that at least 800 were carried out allegedly by Naik's aides. Further it has also been learnt that those who converted were paid Rs 50,000 each.
The question now is where has this money come in from. The police are trying to find out if the funds were sourced out of the Islamic Research Foundation run by Naik.
Rs 50,000 per conversion
Sources in the investigating agency tell OneIndia that they have learnt that Rs 50,000 cash would be paid to people who would convert to Islam. "We believe that these were forced conversions which is against the law. Moreover the law on conversions does not permit monetary benefitsm" sources said.
These details were revealed following a complaint by Ebin Jacob from Kerala, who alleged that his sister had been converted. The lady in question was born as Merrin. However, following her marriage she was taken to meet Naik's aide, Arshi Qureshi. She had converted and her name was changed to Mirriam.
The police suspect that it was during her meeting with Qureshi in Mumbai that she had been both converted and radicalised. She is now suspected to be in Syria and may have joined the ISIS along with her husband, the police suspect.
A marriage bureau under the scanner
A marriage bureau became the platform for two persons through which conversions were taking place. Rizwan Khan and Arshi Qureshi who were arrested from Maharashtra last week are being questioned for their alleged role in enforcing a large number of conversions and also luring youth to join the ISIS.
While the ISIS has been making calls all over the world for Muslims to join the outfit, there is still a lot of preference given to recruits who are converts.
The ISIS has several times asked non-Muslims to shun their existing religion. "Take up Islam and join the ISIS," they have always said.
Qureshi was arrested for his links with the Zakir Naik run Islamic Research Foundation. Khan on the other was picked up for allegedly being a sympathiser of the ISIS. The scanner is on whether they had converted a large number of Hindus and Christians.
While Khan and Qureshi during their interrogation have denied being involved into forced conversions, investigators say that there are documents to prove otherwise.
Police officials say that they suspect it was through the marriage bureau that Khan ran where the conversions took place.