TNN / Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Mufti Kazi Jahangir Qasmi (L) & Mohammed Umar GautamLUCKNOW: The ATS of the UP Police on Monday claimed to have busted a racket involving illegal conversion of poor individuals and children with speech and hearing disabilities belonging to other religions to Islam.
The accused – identified as Mohammed Umar Gautam, who himself is a convert and a resident of Batla House area and Mufti Kazi Jahangir Qasmi, the chairman of Islamic Dawah Center (IDC) In Jamia Nagar in Delhi — are allegedly involved in religious conversion of around 1,000 people, the ATS said.
ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said that the names Umar and Jahangir had cropped up during the interrogation of Kashif and Vipul Vijayvargiya who were arrested in connection with a conspiracy to attack Guru Yati Narshighanand Saraswati of Ghaziabad on June 2.
During the interrogation, it was revealed that Vipul’s real name was Ramzan and he had adopted a Hindu name merely to avoid suspicion and enter Guru Yati’s temple complex in Dasna area of Ghaziabad.
“The two were called for questioning on several occasions and arrested after collecting proper evidence against them,” the ADG said. “We are looking into the financial aspects of the group to get more details about the funding from anti-national groups including ISI, and will be presented before the court,” ADG Prashant Kumar said.
IGP, ATS, GK Goswamy, who led the operation, told TOI that Jahangir Qasmi is a mufti (Islamic Preacher) and the head of Islamic Da’wah Centre (IDC) in Jamia Nagar area of Delhi. Jahangir allegedly used the centre for the purpose of mass conversion and arranged annual convocation for the new converts. Umar Gautam converted to Islam a few years ago and looked for vulnerable people for conversion.
“We have recovered a register from the possession of the accused that contains details of over a 1,000 people who were converted by the duo in the past 18 months,” said the IG. Names and addresses mentioned in the register are that of individuals from Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi. In Uttar Pradesh, people from Varanasi, Mathura and Kanpur find a mention in the register,” the ATS chief said.
“The accused targeted vulnerable groups in the society and lured them with promises of jobs and occupations. The also tried to instil hatred in the people against their previous religion to make the conversion easier. The accused went out for children with speech and hearing disabilities and living in various institutions and converted them without even intimating their parents. In one such instance, a family in Kanpur lodged an FIR regarding the mysterious disappearance of their son Aditya Gupta who was enrolled at a society in Noida. The boy was later found to have travelled to Kerala and was now offering namaz five times a day and converted to Islam. He returned to his family after he came to know that his mother was critical and hospitalised,” Goswamy said.
“A team will meet Aditya in Kanpur soon to record his statement and confront him with Umar and Jahangir once we get their police custody,” the IG ATS said. Citing another instance related to the same Noida society from where Aditya went missing, another boy Mannu Yadav, son of Rajeev Yadav, was also converted.
“The duo also lured girls from poor background to give up their religion and accept Islam promising them job and eventually got them married to Muslim men,” he added. IG ATS also said that heavy funding from middle-east countries have been detected while going through the bank accounts of Umar and jahangir.
Charges against the duo, some unidentified persons and IDC, include those of cheating and dishonesty, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration, injuring or defiling place of worship, attempt to commit offences and sections of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act.
“We will take the duo in police custody and know more about their modus operandi,” said the IG.