The tentacles of mass conversion racket, where people were allegedly forced, lured and coerced into conversion to Islam, have now reached Gujarat.
Three orphan brothers from Surat Gujarat, Rajesh Pandhare, Dinesh Pandhare and Santosh Pandhare, lost their parents when they were very young. While the three brothers were trying to adjust to the fact that they have to survive without any elder in the family, the conversion mafia in the state found a way into their house. As per a report published in Aaj Tak, they worked as labourers to fulfil their day-to-day needs.
Santosh went missing without a trace
In 2013, one day, Santosh left for work and never came back. He was only 16-years-old at that time. Rajesh and Dinesh tried to trace their brother but failed. As the time passed by, the hope of finding Santosh dimmed away, and the two brothers learned to live with the fact that they would never meet their brother again.
A call that changed their lives
Around 7-8 years later, Rajesh got a call from an unknown number. When he picked up the call, the caller identified himself as his younger brother Santosh. The two brothers saw a light of hope that their brother would finally reunite with them. However, the situation was a lot different from what they thought.
Santosh embraced Islam to become Abdullah
Over the call, Santosh informed his brother that he has converted to Islam, and his name is now Abdullah. He further told the brothers that he was happy with his life and wanted to stay where he was. He claimed he was living somewhere in Delhi and Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He also sent a video of his place to Rajesh and Dinesh and told them a lot about the place he was staying in.
As per reports, he also expressed his desire to go to Kashmir.
The fight to bring Santosh back home
After learning about Santosh’s whereabouts and the story of his conversion, the two brothers could not stop themselves from trying to bring him back to Surat. They informed Surat Police about their brother and approached Hindu Organizations seeking support in the matter.
With the support of the Police Commissioner of Surat, Satish Sharma and then the crime branch team managed to bring Santosh back to Surat. Santosh was not pleased with what his brothers did. After coming back to Surat, he revolted against his brothers. According to reports, he even called some men to kill the brothers. Rajesh said that Santosh was a minor when he was lured to Islam when he was in Surat.
Role of Bajrang Dal in bringing back Santosh
Rajesh and Dinesh had approached Devi Prasad Dubey, convener of Bajrang Dal, for support in the matter. He helped them in approaching the police for support. Dubey told Aaj Tak that there is a conversion mafia active in Surat, and government must take action against them.
Speaking to OpIndia, Devi Prasad Dubey said the conversion mafia is targeting those who are orphans and marginalised. They lure them on the pretext of good food and a better lifestyle and ask them to convert to Islam, he said. On Santosh’s case, Dubey said, “The maulvi who converted Santosh was fearless to the extent that he offered Rajesh and Dinesh to convert to Islam. He told them that Islam is the only religion that can give them respect and a better lifestyle.” Dubey further added that the recordings of the conversation between Santosh and his brothers hinted that there was a plan to shift Santosh to Kashmir and then out of India.
Mass religious conversion racket
In a shocking revelation, two maulvis were arrested by Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terror squad (ATS) who were accused of converting at least 1,000 people to Islam, sometimes by luring, coercion or forcefully. 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 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.