Ground Report | New Delhi: UP mass conversion racket; With the arrest of 52-year-old Qasmi and 57-year-old Umar Gautam, political rhetoric has intensified from Lucknow to Delhi. On one hand the political party members are demanding the release of both Maulana, while on the other hand the ruling party BJP leaders are saying that the state government is taking strictest action against the accused.
UP government minister and state government spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said that the government takes everyone along and if someone converts in this way, then the government will not accept it and will take legal action.
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan has tweeted, alleging that the UP government wants to take advantage of the arrest in the upcoming assembly elections. He wrote in his tweet, “In view of the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP wants to cross its sinking boat by adopting the policy of fair, punishment and discrimination in an unconstitutional manner. BJP government is misusing the law and the constitution. Shut down and release those arrested unconstitutionally at the earliest.”
What is The matter?
UP ATS arrested Qasmi and Umar Gautam on Monday for converting to religion. It is alleged that during one and a half year, he got the religion of more than one thousand people converted by giving the lure of job, marriage and money. The ATS claims that they have found evidence of ISI funding and conversions. Media reports quoted sources as saying that foreign funding has come in the form of donations and a large part has come from Pakistan. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered action under the Gangster Act and the National Security Act (NSA) against those involved in the conversion of deaf, deaf and physically challenged children and youth.
ADG Prashant Kumar said that evidence of foreign funding has also been found in the case. The members of the racket used to convert people by luring them and threatening them when needed. Both the accused Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi are residents of Delhi.
He is accused of converting not only in UP but all over the country. In this case, ATS has lodged an FIR at Gomti Nagar police station in UP, in which the name of the president of IDC Islamic Claims Center located in Jamia Nagar has also been registered.
According to the information, UP ATS is interrogating these two accused of four days. The investigation has also revealed that Mohammad Umar Gautam was also converted from Hindu to Muslim.
According to the FIR lodged by the ATS, these people generally used to target weaker sections, children, women, and deaf and dumb people for converting their religion. ATS officials claim that this racket has so far converted more than a thousand people. The names of both the arrested accused have also come up in the case of conversion related to Rampur.
Now UP ATS is trying to find out who was funding this racket. What was their real motive? ADG Prashant Kumar told that the accused Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi are residents of the Jamia Nagar area of Delhi.
Umar is also a converted Muslim. The police came to know in the investigation that Mohammad Umar Gautam was the first Hindu, who later converted to Islam. His father’s name is Dhanraj Singh Gautam. The police suspect that many people may be involved with Umar Gautam in running this racket (UP mass conversion racket).
Foreign funding checks
UP’s ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that the matter has come to light after the arrest and interrogation of two people. On June 2, Vipul Vijayvargiya and Kashif were arrested from a temple in Dasna, whose interrogation exposed the alleged racket of conversion. It is alleged that both of them used to work to lure money to the poor. The police have claimed that they have traced the two victims who are deaf and mute students from Noida, UP (UP mass conversion racket).
Both the accused ran a center called ‘Islamic Dawa Centre’, which received funding from all over the world. The police is also tracking down those who were trapped in this racket and is investigating further to understand how they influenced the people.
Religion and Indian Constitution
It is said that Mohammad Umar Gautam himself converted to Islam about 30 years ago and accepted Islam. It is alleged that apart from Uttar Pradesh, such conversion has been done in Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala also. The ATS has got the documents of converting more than one thousand people in all these states through the alleged racket.
However, the arrest of Islamic preachers has been criticized by Zafarul Islam Khan, former chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission. Khan has questioned the arrest and said that conversion is not a crime. He said that it is allowed under Article 25 of the Constitution. Articles 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Indian Constitution give the right to freedom of religion to every citizen of the country.
According to Article 25, all citizens have the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate the religion of their choice. But the right to publicity does not include the right to convert any other person. Article 26 empowers all religious denominations and organizations to organize religious programs and establish institutions on the basis of morality.
Accused in 7 days police remand
The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad has got the police custody remand of accused Umar Gautam and Jahangir arrested in the illegal conversion case. The court has handed over the two to the ATS on a one-week remand. According to the information, during the remand, the ATS will try to get information from the accused about their other associates and the entire network (UP mass conversion racket).
Along with this, UP ATS will also collect information about people who have converted illegally. Where is the funding coming from in this work, the ATS officers will also try to find out during the remand. During this, inquiries will be made on the personal and institution’s bank accounts linked to them.