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‘India’s largest conversion racket’ busted: Islamic scholar arrested

Meerut: The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) announced on Wednesday that the ‘largest conversion racket’ in the country had been broken up and that Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui was in custody. Siddiqui was arrested on charges of facilitating religious conversions, according to the UP ATS. The investigation into the Umar Gautam case brought to light his name. After an investigation by the Uttar Pradesh Police, Ahmed Gautam was sentenced to prison in June.

Due to suspicious activities, the 64-year-old Islamic scholar was on security agencies’ radar. Upon his arrival in Meerut late on Tuesday night, he was picked up immediately. He is currently being questioned by the police. According to the ATS spokesman, Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui is a resident of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. According to the police, Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust is run by the Islamic cleric and funds several madrassas for which Siddiqui is said to have received huge foreign funding.

In a statement, Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General (Law and Order) of the State of Uttar Pradesh, said that the trust of Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui received Rs 3 crore in foreign funding, including Rs 1.5 crore from Bahrain. The ATS has formed six teams to investigate the case. ATS insurgent-general GK Goswami says around 1000 people have been converted in India by the syndicate.

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In June, Mufti Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam were arrested from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar for allegedly attempting to convert poor people and deaf students to Islam with the assistance of Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). At the same time, Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has firmly condemned the arrest of the Islamic scholar. BJP MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq declared, ‘This is wrong. The government is only harassing Muslims,’ after ATS arrested Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui on charges of running a religious conversion network in Uttar Pradesh.



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