‘Conversion racket’ in UP: Three more arrested

The three were identified as Mohammad Saleem and Mohammad Idrish Qureshi — both residents of Muzaffarnagar — and Kunal Ashok Chaudhary alias Atif from Nasik in Maharashtra.

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Sunday arrested three people for their alleged involvement in a suspected illegal conversion racket. The three were identified as Mohammad Saleem and Mohammad Idrish Qureshi — both residents of Muzaffarnagar — and Kunal Ashok Chaudhary alias Atif from Nasik in Maharashtra. Chaudhary converted to Islam while pursuing a medical degree in Russia, said the police.

The police claimed that the three were arrested after being questioned, taking the number of people in custody in connection with the alleged racket to 14. According to investigators, they are close associates of 64-year-old cleric Kaleem Siddiqui who was arrested in Meerut on Tuesday night. Their names came up during Siddiqui’s interrogation.

On June 21, the ATS arrested two clerics – Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahageer Alam Qasmi – in Delhi, and claimed to have busted a “huge conversion racket” that was allegedly involved in the conversion of “thousands of people”. The group allegedly targeted children with disabilities, women, the unemployed, and the poor by promising them a good education, marriage, jobs, and money.

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