The Uttar Pradesh Police Anti-Terrorism Squad on Wednesday claimed to have busted India’s largest religious conversion syndicate with the arrest of a prominent cleric on charges of being involved in illegal conversions.
The cleric, identified as Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation.
UP Police ADG Prashant Kumar said that six teams of the ATS were investigating this case.
Giving details of the investigation, the officer said that a detailed probe into illegal conversions began on June 20 this year with the arrest of two persons linked to the Islamic Dawah Centre.
Over the next few months, four more arrests were made in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
According to the UP ATS, the accused received funding from UK-registered Al Falah Trust to the tune of Rs 57 crore.
ADG Prashant Kumar said that during the interrogation of the suspects, it emerged that a Delhi-based cleric Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui was involved in illegal conversions.
The police allege that in the garb of running educational, social and religious institutions, the cleric was operating a nationwide illegal conversion syndicate. The police also claim that many well-known people and organisations are part of this syndicate.
The modus operandi of the syndicate was to lure non-Muslims, brainwash and convert them, and get them involved in the activities of the Islamic Dawah Centre.
The ATS claims that Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui allegedly received huge sums of money from abroad which were diverted to fund his activities in various madrassas across the country.
The ATS also recovered literature allegedly authored by Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui himself and is available for free online and in print, in which he claims that only a Shariat-based system can ensure justice for all.
Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui was nabbed by the ATS on Tuesday night from Meerut.