UP Police’s ATS arrests two Muslim scholars under state’s new anti-conversion law

The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested Muslim scholars Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam from South Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on Monday under the draconian anti-conversion law.

According to the FIR, lodged with Gomtinagar police station under the state’s new anti-conversion law, the Muslim scholars involved the conversion of deaf children and women to Islam and more than 1,000 people had been converted so far.

The two accused have been escorted by armed ATS team members at signature building head quarters of UP police on Monday.

The name of the chairman of Islamic Da’wah Centre is also mentioned in the FIR.

“Both were arrested after interrogation. We have got important evidence, documents of foreign funding,” Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and order) Prashant Kumar said at a press conference.

“The deaf and dumb son of a couple living in Kalyanpur, Kanpur, was converted and sent to South India. Thousands of such cases have come to light. The people were promised money and jobs in lieu of conversion,” he told reporters.

Mohammad Umar Gautam, son of Dhanraj Singh Gautam hails from Batla House while Mufti Qazi Jahangir is residing in Jogabai area. Both localities are in Jamia Nagar in South Delhi.

Many including Opposition parties, rights activists, Muslim leaders and international rights watchdogs have been raising concerns about the new Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020. Most of it has been around the law being a violation of an individual’s all fundamental rights. The law makes the private choice of a person who converts to another religion subject to the whims of the government of the day.

More than 100 Muslim youth were arbitrarily arrested by UP police under the new draconian law till now.

The law, which came into force in the form of an ordinance on November 28 last year, is seen as giving legal teeth to the BJP’s anti-Muslim campaign the so-called ‘love jihad‘.

More to follow…