Conversion racket: ATS searches four properties in Delhi owned by cleric

As many as 15 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the alleged conversion racket which was busted in June. Of those arrested in the case, five are from Maharashtra.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh along with Delhi police on Tuesday carried out joint searches at four properties belonging to 64-year-old Maulana Kaleem, a cleric arrested last month for his alleged involvement in the illegal conversion racket.

Police claimed to have recovered important documents and electronic gadgets from Kaleem’s two houses and two offices of the trust, Jamiat Imam Waliullah, located at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi.

The trust is run by the cleric, police further informed.

With a copy of permission obtained from the court, the ATS team reached Kaleem’s houses and offices along with officers of Delhi police and seized several desktops, laptops and documents during the ensuing search operation.

A senior officer said the recovered documents and electronic gadgets would be examined over the course of further examination.

As many as 15 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the alleged conversion racket which was busted in June. Of those arrested in the case, five are from Maharashtra.

The cleric was arrested by the ATS on September 22 after his name cropped up during its investigation. The probe revealed that the Maulana, through alleged fronts in the form of educational and social organisations, was involved in illegal conversions across the country and was even receiving funds from foreign countries for this, police had said.

During its probe, ATS officers claimed to have collected evidence to support that about Rs 20 crore was deposited in different bank accounts in the name of the trust run by Kaleem.

The sleuths are presently gathering details of properties owned by Kaleem and are also allegedly trying to identify people who had funded the alleged conversion racket.

On September 26, the ATS said they had arrested three more persons identified as Mohammad Saleem, Mohammad Idris Qureshi of Muzaffarnagar and Kunal Ashok Chaudhary alias Atif on information they received from the cleric during his questioning.

Police had obtained permission from a court to take Idris to four days’ police custody, starting Tuesday.

On October 1, the ATS arrested Maharashtra resident Dheeraj Jagtap alias Dheeraj Deshmukh after he failed to give satisfactory replies during his questioning in Lucknow. Dheeraj had embraced Islam about a week ago, police said. On the request of the ATS, the court sent Dheeraj to police custody for seven days.

 

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