UP ATS has arrested two Maulanas, Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Jahangir Alam Qasmi, for allegedly converting Hindus through motivational thought. Both Maulanas are residents of Batla House in Jamia Nagar locality of South Delhi.
Shyam Pratap Singh Gautam, son of Dhanraj Singh Gautam belonging to a Rajpoot family of UP’s Fatahpur was born in 1962. He converted to Islam 35 years ago and become Mohammad Umar Gautam.
Maulana Jahangir and Umar Gautam are associated with a prominent Muslim organization based in Lucknow Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC). Gautam is the chairman of IDC and Qasmi works with IDC. Gautam founded IDC in 2010.
However, Gautam’s website, islamicdawahcentre.org, nowhere says that IDC is involved in religious conversion. It says that “IDC has supported educationally, financially, legally and morally more than 400 reverts, both male and female.”
A case under Sections 420/120B, 153A, 153B, 295 and 511 of Indian Penal Code and under Sections 3 and 5 of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2021, has been registered at ATS Police Station in Lucknow, against them.
In a media statement, UP police claimed that the duo were running a racket of religious conversion, mostly converting those belonging to poor families as also deaf and dumb students.
Charging the duo of indulging into conversions with foreign money received through ISI, the police claimed that the two accused people were trying to disrupt the communal amity and brotherhood by creating hatred against the original religion of the converts and radicalizing them.
But idc’s website countering the police claims says that “it receives donation from Indian bank accounts only” into the Fatima charitable foundation’s account no 0711131345, Kotak Mahindra bank. The foundation is registered as non-fcra account.
As per the UP Police, both of them have also converted several deaf and dumb students of the Noida Deaf Society without their parents’ knowledge. Noida Deaf Society, is a residential school; it trains and teaches deaf children.
Ghaziabad police sources said that on June 2, two suspects visited the Dasna temple by hiding their identity because Muslims are not allowed to go into the temple premises. While one of the suspects identified himself as Kashi Gupta, the other identified himself as Vipul Vijarvargiy. When both were caught, information was received about the duo.
Former Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission & Government of NCT, Zafarul Islam Khan, said Umar Gautam converted to Islam early when he found that while people close to him deserted him in his ailment, Muslim friends stood with him. He is accused of converting people to Islam and conversion is not a crime. It is allowed, he added.
“Under Art. 25 of our Constitution. No question of forceful conversion by him. He is a nice person, a good samaritan. I have known him for close to 3 decades. ATS claims about his “ISI links” are bogus, will fall by the wayside. Look at hundreds of acquittals in recent decades” the former Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader, Amantullah Khan taking it to Twitter, said that by arresting Umar Gautam and his associate, “BJP government is not failing to commit atrocities on the minorities and Dalits of the country. The BJP has attacked our Constitutional rights. Article 25 and 21 gives us the right to convert to any religion.”
The AAP leader further added that in view of the upcoming assembly elections in UP, the BJP wants to save its sinking boat by adopting the policy of “Sam-Daan, Dand Bhed” in an unconstitutional way. “The BJP government should stop misusing the law and the constitution and release those arrested unconstitutionally,” he added.
On the night of June 18, Umar Gautam was arrested from his house and the police picked up his associate Qasmi the same night. Police claim to have recovered documents about the conversion of over 1000 Hindus to Islam.