Direct link to unlawful conversion racket: UP ATS arrests top Muslim cleric
New Delhi, Sep 22: The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad has arrested one Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui on charges of religious conversion. UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar told a press conference that the cleric had direct links with the mass unlawful conversion racket.
He said that Maulana Kaleem had direct links with mass unlawful conversion racket that was busted by the ATS earlier this year. He not only funded and oversaw the activities, but also used to his trust to fund the madrasas involved in the racket, Kumar also said.
Kumar also said that the probe showed that the Maulana's trust received Rs 3 crore in foreign funding including Rs 1.5 crore from Bahrain. He said that six teams of the ATS have been formed to investigate the matter. Siddiqui runs Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust that funds several Madrasas for which he had received huge foreign funding, the ATS said in a statement. He was taken into custody when he was returning home at Muzaffarnagar after attending a programme in Meerut.
In July this year, the Enforcement Directorate filed a case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the religious conversion racket busted by the UP ATS.
The ED named Mufti Qazi Jahangir and Mohammad Umar Gautam as the main accused in the case. After this case was busted, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath ordered action under the Gangster Act and National Security Act. The UP police said that this racket involved the conversion of deaf children and women to Islam.
I converted 1,000 non-Muslims to Islam by marrying them all to Muslims, Mohammad Umar Gautam boasted before the police. Umar along with Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasm from Delhi's Jamia Nagar were arrested by the police for running an outfit involved in converting deaf and dumb students and other poor people to Islam in Uttar Pradesh with funding from the Pakistan's ISI. The arrests were made by Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad following the registration of an FIR in the case at Lucknow's ATS police station.
The outfit that they ran is named Islamic Dawah Center, having access of funds from Pakistan's ISI and other foreign agencies, said Kumar. The ADGP said the ATS had been working on the case on the intelligence that some people were getting funds from ISI and other foreign agencies for converting poor people to Islam and spreading communal enmity in the society.
The ATS probe has resulted in the duo's arrest, said Kumar, adding they have been booked on various charges including those under the Indian Penal Code and Uttar Pradesh's stringent anti-conversion law.
Investigation revealed that a particular school for hearing and speech impaired in Noida was also approached to entice them with promises of employment and money to get them converted to Islam.