An unusual development in the further interrogation of two accused of mass religious conversion by the Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorist squad (ATS), as per a report by Dainik Jagran, has revealed that they planned to religiously convert hearing and speech impaired children to Islam and then use them as human bombs. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered action against the criminals under the Gangster Act and National Security Act (NSA).
Policing reports indicate that the duo targeted poor families, and unemployed and handicapped youths, especially those with hearing and speech impairments, forcing them to convert. The accused, Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam, were arrested in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area. UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar confirmed that the arrested were running a conversion racket.
In addition, ADG Kumar suggested that this could be an instance of the ISI funding religious conversions in India. The recent report has alleged that Pakistan’s ISI and other global sources funded the accused Qasmi Gautam. According to a senior official, the people responsible for the racket wanted these children brainwashed into accepting Islam, after which they would be used as human bombs in India and around the world.
The duo has confessed to converting about 250 to 300 people every year. ADG Kumar has stated in his report that Gautam boasted of conversions to Islam, saying he had lured 1,001 people to Islam with marriage, money and jobs. Many of these people were economically struggling, including women, children and the disabled. An official said that in Noida, around 1,500 children have embraced Islam, adding that there have been thousands of similar cases across the state.
According to the police, besides being forced to change their religion, many women were married off and forced to change their gender. In the past, the accused operated a centre called ‘Islamic Dawa Center’ that received funding from around the globe. In addition, the police are also tracking those who got caught up in this scheme and are attempting to find out how they influenced people. The Centre has been working on intelligence inputs that some people are being supported by ISI and other foreign agencies in order to convert poor people to Islam and spread communal hatred.