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Monday, October 18, 2021

UP: One more held in ‘illegal conversion racket’ case

In a statement issued on Thursday, the ATS said that Sarfaraz Ali Jafri, who was looking after the work of Kaleem Siddiqui’s Global Peace Centre, was arrested from Lucknow.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
October 8, 2021 5:57:13 am
Kaleem Siddiqui was earlier arrested by the ATS.

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested one more person in connection with the alleged illegal conversion racket, taking the total number of arrests to 15.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the ATS said that Sarfaraz Ali Jafri, who was looking after the work of Kaleem Siddiqui’s Global Peace Centre, was arrested from Lucknow.

Kaleem Siddiqui was earlier arrested by the ATS.

“We have found evidence that other than Global Peace Centre, Jafri was involved in illegal conversion activities in the garb of social work under Humanity for All organisation. Jafri was involved in using undue influence and misdirection to convert people into Islam and take care of them by getting them a new identity, job, arrange their marriage etc. Jafri was provided money for such works by Siddiqui,” the ATS said.

Claiming that Jafri was allegedly using foreign funding for illegal conversion, the ATS said that they have found “evidence” from his phone showing the monthly agenda of conversion work. “He will be presented before a court. We will be seeking his custody,” the ATS said.

On June 20, the ATS had claimed to unearth an alleged illegal conversion racket by arresting three persons — Delhi’s Jamia Nagar residents Mufti Qazi, Jahangir Alam Qasmi, and Mohammad Umar Gautam.

Since then, the ATS has arrested 12 people from UP, Delhi, and Maharashtra in connection with the case. Among those arrested later included Kaleem Siddiqui, Rameshwar Kavde, Bhupriya Bando alias Arsalan Mustafa, Kaushar Alam, Hafiz Idris, Mohammad Saleem, and Dheeraj Jagtap.

They have been booked under IPC sections and Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance.

They have been accused of running a “nationwide conversion racket”.

The ATS has claimed that Umar Gautam was the brain behind the racket, which allegedly targeted women, jobless and poor by promising them a good education, marriage, jobs, money, and other things. Some of them have been accused of collecting money through the hawala route.

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