The Uttar Pradesh police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad on Monday this week busted a religious country-wide conversion racket and arrested two people in the case. The accused were later identified as Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam and were residents of Jamia Nagar in South Delhi.
The two accused, who ran an organisation named Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC), along with their other associates, were charged for mass conversion of people into Islam through inducements such as marriage, job and money and mental pressure.
The two, and their organisation were booked under Sections 420, 120 B, 153A, 153B, 295 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3/5 the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020.
The rampant racket of converting people into the fold of Islam came to light after a deaf and dumb son of a couple in Kalyanpur, Kanpur, was converted and sent to South India. Since then, thousands of cases of forcible conversions to Islam by the two accused have surfaced. The two reportedly made false promises of jobs and money in lieu of conversion.
Who is Mohammad Umar Gautam
Mohammad Umar Gautam, one of the two accused was known as Shyam Prasad Singh Gautam before he shunned his Hindu faith and embraced Islam. The Anti Terror Squad said Gautam had allegedly converted over 1,000 people to Islam and got many of them married to Muslims to prevent the possibility of their relapse to their earlier faith.
Born in 1964 in a regal Rajput family from Fatehpur, Shyam Prasad Singh Gautam is distant relative of former Indian Prime Minister V P Singh. In 1984, Gautam met one Nasir Khan in his neighbourhood in Pratapgarh, who played a key role in Gautam’s conversion to Islam. During that time, Gautam had met with an accident and could not go to college. Khan helped Gautam in attending classes. He also took Umar Gautam to a hospital and brought meals for him from his mess.
Khan being a devout Muslim, provided books and scriptures on Islamic beliefs to Gautam. Gautam diligently read all the books provided by Khan, which also included books on Prophet Muhammad, Islamic hadiths and other doctrines. In 1986, two years after he met Khan, Gautam renounced his Hindu faith and converted to Islam.
Soon after he embraced Islam, he converted his wife and later his mother. From there, started his inexorable quest to convert others to Islam. Police have accused Gautam and his accomplice of trying to create hate in the minds of the victims for their original religion to convert them to Islam. Many were also enticed with job opportunities to convert to Islam. Gautam used every possible means to manipulate his victims to bring them into the fold of Islam.
Another accused who has been arrested in the case, Mufti Kazi Jahangir Qasmi, is the chairman of the Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC) in Jamia Nagar in Delhi. Jahangir allegedly used the Centre for mass conversions and arranged annual congregation for the new converts. Women, children, economically weak and other vulnerable sections were lured into the fold of Islam.
Aligarh Muslim University, an Islamic bastion with little regard to the pluralistic nature of the country
The Jeddah chapter of the Aligarh Muslim University in 2018 felicitated Mohammad Umar Gautam with an award for propagating Islam. “In recognition of his ongoing extraordinary contribution and continued work in spreading Islam with full devotion and steadfastness,” a memento awarded to Gautam for his efforts to convert people into Islam read.
The felicitation of an Islamic proselytiser by an alumni chapter of the Aligarh Muslim University provides a window into the minds of people who study and run the University. There are several instances that indicate that Aligarh Muslim University is a not a secular educational institute but an Islamic bastion, with an overarching goal of spreading and propagating Islam.
The Aligarh Muslim University is a central government-funded university, meaning that taxpayers’ funds are used to bankroll the institute and finance its operations. As per the constitution of India, government-funded education institutes are supposed to be secular in nature. However, for the alumni and the administrators of the Aligarh Muslim University, the constitution of India is worth citing only when they want to play the victim card. For instance, during the anti-CAA protests when the AMU students accused the police of violating laws after they raided the campus to stop the riots carried under the pretext of demonstrations.
On other occasions, the constitution of the country could be sidestepped as radical proselytisers are rewarded and encouraged to continue their forced conversion activities and the advancement of Islamic beliefs and doctrines. While it has been touted by its supporters as an independent education institute, the thought process spawned by the university as manifested by its alumni reveals that it has devolved into being an outpost of Islam, one that is relentlessly hacking away at the secular fabric of the country.
Jahangir and Gautam linked to assassins conspiring to target Yati Saraswati; their organisation received foreign funding, including from ISI
The names of Jahangir and Gautam came under scanner during the interrogation of Kashif and Vipul, who were arrested in connection with the conspiracy to assassinate Dasna Devi Temple chief abbot Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati. According to police, Vipul’s real name was Ramzan and was operating under a false name to avoid suspicion and get in close proximity to Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati.
The police also found that the two accused, Jahangir and Gautam, used hate speech to indoctrinate people and convert them into Islam. They especially targeted the vulnerable section of the society, people with listening and hearing disabilities in different institutions and converted them into Islam, often without even intimating their parents.
In once such case, a family filed an FIR regarding the mysterious disappearance of their son Aditya Gupta who was enrolled at a society in Noida. It was later found that the boy was transferred to Kerala where he was offering namaz five times a day and converted to Islam. He returned to the family only after he came to know that his mother was critical and hospitalised. When probed, another case of a boy from the same society converted to Islam also came to fore.
Reportedly, the duo also lured poor girls to give up their religion and embrace Islam promising them jobs and eventually got them married to Muslim men. The Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC) received heavy funding from the Middle East countries for their operations of carrying out religious conversions in India. Not just from the Muslim countries in the Gulf, but the duo also allegedly received funding from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), alleged the police.