The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad on Wednesday made yet another arrest in the biggest conversion racket that was unearthed in June this year. Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who is one of the biggest clerics from western UP, was detained on charges of religious conversions.
UP ATS has arrested Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, in connection with India’s largest religious conversion syndicate busted by the ATS. He runs Jamia Imam Waliullah trust that funds several madrassas for which he received huge foreign funding: Police pic.twitter.com/XxHIYhxJKx— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2021
The 64-year-old Islamic scholar runs Jamia Imam Waliullah trust that funds several madrassas for which he received huge foreign funding, the police said.
Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar informed, “Investigation shows Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s trust received Rs 3 crores in foreign funding including Rs 1.5 from Bahrain.”
Investigation shows Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s trust received Rs 3 crores in foreign funding including Rs 1.5 from Bahrain. Six teams of ATS have been formed to investigate this case: Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar pic.twitter.com/ijeCHWDCX2— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2021
Siddiqui was on the radar of security agencies and was nabbed from Meerut last night. The police official further said that six teams have been formed to investigate the matter further. The Islamic scholar too is being interrogated by UP police.
AAP MLA condemns the arrest
Aam Aadmi Party MLA, Amanatullah Khan has condemned the arrest of the Islamic scholar calling it ‘atrocities on Muslims’.
“Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, a famous Islamic scholar, has been arrested before the elections in Uttar Pradesh. The atrocities on Muslims are increasing. The silence of secular parties on these issues is giving more strength to the BJP. BJP, how much will you fall to win the election?” he tweeted.
Khan had earlier called for beheading of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati of Dasna Temple, Ghaziabad over allegedly blasphemous remarks. He has also been accused of giving false communal colour to a petty crime.
Crores received through hawala
The UP ATS initiated a massive investigative operation after the arrest of one Umar Gautam and his aide accused of mass conversions. Reportedly, the duo 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 have also been accused of targeting differently-abled children to convert and use them as human bombs. Moreover, the investigation has also revealed the illegal foreign funding received by Gautam and his accomplices.
In August, 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. He had also received ₹60 crores through hawala schemes and ₹19 crores through foreign donations.
The funding was being used for conversions and building mosques in different states of India. Since Sheikh was in touch with several people from Jammu and Kashmir, the police is also probing his possible involvement in terror activities or funding.
All the accused in the matter are currently under arrest and being interrogated.