The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday conducted a series of raids across Delhi and UP in the illegal conversion case.
Several residences of prime accused Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui and his associates have been raided in connection with the probe.
According to ATS sources, incriminating evidence has been seized in the raids which are currently underway at several locations across the national capital and UP.
The latest series of raids come after the ATS arrested one more person in the illegal conversion case on October 2.
According to the details provided by the ATS, the accused propagated religious hatred in WhatsApp groups by sharing radical messages.
So far, it has arrested over 14 people so far in the illegal conversion racket including Siddiqui. The 64-year-old Islamic scholar was arrested on September 22.
The Uttar Pradesh Police in June arrested Umar Gautam, along with eight others, for allegedly running a religious conversion racket.
During the course of the investigation, it was found that the racket involved the conversion of deaf children and women to Islam and more than 1,000 people were converted.
The ATS statement further said that more than a dozen deaf and dumb children in Noida were also converted. The arrested accused have confessed to converting nearly 250 to 300 people every year.
Siddiqui was arrested in Meerut after being on the radar of security agencies due to suspicious activities for months.
Addressing a press conference, Uttar Pradesh Police’s ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar revealed that the cleric had received vast amounts of foreign funding in the case.
“Investigation shows Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui runs Jamia Imam Waliullah trust that funds several madrassas for which he received huge foreign funding. Investigation shows Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s trust received Rs 3 crore in foreign funding, including Rs 1.5 crore from Bahrain. Six teams of ATS have been formed to investigate this case,” he said.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)