On Friday (August 27), the Vadodara police informed that one of the ‘UP conversion racket’ accused Salahuddin Sheikh has been involved in funding terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The development came hours after a Special Operations Group (SOG) of Vadodara police reached Lucknow with a production warrant from a local court.
As per reports, the Vadodara police have begun probing the terror funding angle after accused Salahuddin’s connections surfaced in Jammu and Kashmir. According to a senior police official, he diverted hawla funds to the Union territory for the past few years. “He was in touch with many people in J&K and hence we are investigating if the money he diverted was used for terror activities or creating unrest in J&K,” the official emphasised.
While speaking about the matter, Vadodara police commissioner Shamshee Singh added that Salahuddin Sheikh received ₹60 crores through hawala schemes and ₹19 crores through foreign donations. He pointed out, “We are conducting a detailed investigation of how the money was used and who all received the cash that Sheikh diverted…Hawala funds used to come via Dubai. They (accused) also received foreign donations from UK, USA & UAE via a trust. Accused also got 103 mosques built in 5 states. They also used hawala funding for anti-govt protests and have connections in J&K also”
Hawala funds used to come via Dubai. They (accused) also received foreign donations from UK, USA & UAE via a trust. Accused also got 103 mosques built in 5 states. They also used hawala funding for anti-govt protests and have connections in J&K also: Shamsher Singh, CP, Vadodara— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2021
Reportedly, the accused built 45 mosques in Maharashtra, 17 mosques in Madhya Pradesh, 3 mosques in Assam, 30 and 8 mosques in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Another police official informed that Salahuddin Sheikh used to run a school in Chhota Udepur to facilitate his money laundering activities. Sheikh’s name surfaced during the investigation, following which the cops found his bank accounts that were used in hawala transactions.
Umar Gautam involved in mass conversions
Umar Gautam along with his aide Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi was arrested by the UP ATS in the month of June this year. The two accused ran an organisation named Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC), along with their other associates, to mass convert people into Islam through inducements such as marriage, job and money and mental pressure.
They were also accused of specifically converting deaf and mute children. The investigations revealed that Gautam converted 1500 children at a deaf and dumb school in Noida to Islam. 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 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020 and are currently in Lucknow jail.