The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested three more persons involved in the religious conversion racket led by Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui.
Inspector General of police, ATS, Gajendra Kumar Goswami, who is spearheading the probe, said that names of these three surfaced during questioning of accused cleric Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who allegedly ran the biggest conversion syndicate across the country.
“We have arrested Idris Qureshi, Saleem and Kunal Ashok a.k.a Atif from Lucknow on Sunday,” he said.
Maulana Kaleem, who was arrested on September 22 and is on a 10-day custody remand, has also revealed that apart from Rs 1.5 crores illegally routed through Bahrain and Rs 3 crore from other Gulf nations, a sum of Rs 20 crore has been received by the trusts operated by him which is in violation of foreign act (FCRA).
The IG said that Atif got in touch with Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui when he was taking the Medical Council of India(MCI) examination. Atif was converted during his medical studies while living in Russia and was running a medical clinic in Nashik illegally, after he failed to pass the MCI examination, a requirement necessary to practice medicine in India for those who studied medicine abroad.
The IG further said that accused Idris Qureshi collected funds for the last 20 years for Jamiatul Imam Waliullah Al Islamiyya Madrasa run by Kaleem Siddiqui and is also active in the operation of the madrasa. The above madrasa is run as the centre of conversion of accused Kaleem Siddiqui.
“Evidence so far has confirmed that under the guise of a social harmony programme, a syndicate of illegal conversions was being operated by the accused,” said the official.
Earlier, the anti-terror squad had busted the illegal conversion racket in June with the arrest of kingpin Umar Gautam, his accomplice Mufti Kazi Jahangir Qasmi, and later its Nagpur syndicate was busted with the arrest of Rameshwar Kawre a.k.a Adam, Qausar Alam, and Bhuriya Bando a.k.a. Arslan Mustafa.
Others in the police net include Noida sign language interpreter Irfan Sheikh, Munna Yadav and Rahul Bhola. Gujarat businessman Salahuddin Zainuddin and a Maharashtra doctor Firoz Shah.
(With IANS inputs)