ED conducts searches in alleged mass conversion case

Case involves Mohammad Umar Gautam who, police say, was into conversion of non-Muslims, especially deaf and mute students, women and children

July 03, 2021 02:39 pm | Updated 06:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted searches at six locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in connection with an alleged mass conversion case against Mohammad Umar Gautam and others.

The searches were carried out at Batla House in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar and Lucknow under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The premises included the office of Mr. Umar Gautam’s organisation, Islamic Dawah Centre, his house and that of his associate Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi, in Delhi.

The offices of Al Hassan Education and Welfare Foundation and Guidance Education and Welfare Society in Lucknow and Sant Kabir Nagar were also searched.

“Several incriminating documents have been seized during the searches. They reveal large-scale conversions carried out by accused Umar Gautam and his organisations all over India. The documents also reveal receipt of foreign funding running into several crores by these organisations for the purpose of illegal conversions,” said the ED.

Its probe is based on one of the two cases registered by the Uttar Pradesh police’s Anti Terror Squad (ATS), involving Mr. Umar Gautam, the Islamic Dawah Centre, Mr. Qasmi and others, under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020.

Last month, in the first case, the ATS arrested Mr. Umar Gautam and Mr. Qasmi from Delhi. The police alleged that about 1,000 persons were converted and many of them were married to Muslims. Mr. Umar Gautam was into mass conversion of non-Muslims, especially deaf and mute students, women, children and people from weaker and vulnerable sections, as alleged.

It is also alleged that Mr. Qasmi illegally issued conversion and marriage certificates for those converted.

The second police case alleges conversion of a Hindu woman in Uttar Pradesh’s in Shahjahanpur before her marriage to a Muslim man.

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