The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad has arrested renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui from Meerut for allegedly running the biggest conversion syndicate. A local court has remanded Siddiqui in judicial custody till October 5.
Following Siddiqui’s late night arrest, there was an outrage on twitter where people were demanding to release him with hashtag #ReleaseKalimuddinSiddiqui.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan called Siddique’s arrest a political move and tweeted that the atrocities on Muslims are increasing. The silence of secular parties on these issues is giving more strength to the BJP.
Why did UP ATS arrest Kalimuddin Siddiqui?
The Uttar Pradesh ATS said the cleric’s name emerged during the investigation of a case filed in Lucknow in which cleric Umar Gautam and others have been charged.
Siddiqui’s arrest comes three months after Delhi’s Jamia Nagar residents Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam were apprehended by the ATS on June 20.
The UP ATS claimed that Siddiqui is the mastermind of India’s biggest conversion racket.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that the ATS found that Siddiqui’s Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust was conducting illegal religious conversions in the name of running communal harmony programmes.
Kumar alleged that Siddiqui used to mislead people for conversion and prepared them for dawah, the act of inviting or calling people to embrace Islam. He also alleged that Siddiqui’s trust received huge amounts of foreign funds through illegal means of transaction. They also claimed that Siddiqui distributed his self-written literature for free for the purpose of conversion.
Who has been arrested earlier in conversion case?
Including Siddiqui, 11 people have been arrested in the conversion case so far.
The UP ATS had arrested Mufti Kazi Jahageer Alam and Mohammad Umar Gautam alongwith other Islamic Dawah Centre associates in June for allegedly converting 1,000 people to Islam. However, the police had claimed that the organisation was involved in large-scale religious conversions for the past 18 months.
The ATS had also arrested 8 more people linked to Islamic Dawah Centre claiming that they were luring women, children, the unemployed and the poor for conversion by offering education, marriage, jobs and money.
The police have also arrested a sign language expert Irfan Khwaja Khan in connection with the conversion case.
Who is Kalimuddin Siddiqui?
Siddiqui is one of the prominent clerics from western Uttar Pradesh and the president of Global Peace Center as well as Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust. He is widely respected by people of various faiths due to his efforts to promote communal harmony thru interfaith dialogues.