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Illegal conversion racket: Gujarat cops in UP to take custody of two

| Updated: August 26, 2021 18:29

The Vadodara police reached Uttar Pradesh today to take custody of two persons currently lodged in Lucknow jail on the charges of diverting money from a charitable trust for alleged illegal religious conversions and to provide legal help to anti-CAA protestors as well as those arrested in Delhi communal riots. 

The accused — Mohammad Umar Gautam and Salauddin Shaikh – were arrested by the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).

Gautam was picked up by the UP ATS in June on charges of fraudulently converting people to Islam, while Shaikh was arrested from Panigate area in Vadodara last month on the charges of providing funds to Gautam and others to carry out illegal conversions. 

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The five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Vadodara police had been carrying out parallel investigation of Shaikh’s involvement in the issue. According to the officials, the probe revealed that Shaikh, as the managing trustee of Afmi Charitable Trust in the Gujarat, collected Rs 24.48 crore from different sources, including Dubai, to carry out activities which were against the purposes for which the trust was formed. 

“The probe revealed that Shaikh gave Rs 6 crore to Umar Gautam and others to carry out religious conversions and Rs 60 lakh as legal help to anti-CAA protestors and those arrested post the 2020 Delhi communal riots,” the release by Vadodara SOG stated. 

The Vadodara police had registered an FIR against Shaikh, Gautam and others on August 24 under Indian Penal Code Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities), 465 (forgery) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

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