The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad on Wednesday arrested renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui from Meerut for allegedly running a conversion syndicate. A local court has remanded Siddiqui in judicial custody till October 5.
Apart from Ohkla MLA Amanatullah Khan, Shafiqurrrahman Burq, Professor Apoorvanand and some others, there were no popular outrage on social media and anywhere else on the midnight arresting of an Islamic scholar.
Despite trending hastag #ReleaseKalimuddinSiddiqui, neither any political party nor leaders who claimed to be secular had said anything about the incident.
Even after 48 hours of Siddiqui’s arresting, the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi have not tweeted anything about arresting but there are reports that he want impartial judicial probe into the case.
The UP ATS had arrested Siddiqui from Meerut and made accused in propagation of religion which is the right given to him by the Constitution under article 25. Article 25 guarantees the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion to all citizens.
All of a sudden arresting Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui by UP ATS is an unconstitutional and aggressive act.
Preaching is not a crime and the voluntary conversion so too. The hounding of Maulana Kalim Siddiqui is nothing but an attempt to criminalise Muslims. However, such arrests of Muslims likely to continue till end of next year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP has no other option to polarise Hindu voters.
Media has already started pushing the propaganda with news pieces claiming that the Maulana has been rounded up for suspicious activities.
Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui had come into the limelight at the time of Bollywood actor Sana Khan’s marriage with Gujarat’s mufti Anas. After this, Sana Khan left her film industry and decided to lead a life of Islamic tradition. In November 2020, Sana Khan was married to Mufti Anas Saeed and Siddiqui were present during wedding ceremony.
Including Malana Siddiqui, 11 people have been arrested in the conversion case so far.
What is UP anti-conversion law?
After the arrest of the two clerics Umar Gautam and Mufti Kazi Jahageer Alam, the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad had arrested eight more people and booked them under the anti-conversion law, the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2020.
With an aim to penalize love jihad, the Uttar Pradesh government had enacted anti-conversion law in February 2021.
Under the law, a person who wants to convert and the individual who is performing the conversion have to seek permission from a district magistrate. It also makes religious conversion punishable if it has been done by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion or allurement.
However, the critics and legal experts have called the law a violation of fundamental rights.
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