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Key Accused in Gujarat Fund Diversion Case Converted '100 to 200 Hindu Girls to Islam', Police Say in Charge-sheet

PTI

Last Updated: November 24, 2021, 19:57 IST

The 1,860-page charge-sheet, which has named five accused, was submitted in the court of Vadodara. (Representational Image: News18)

The 1,860-page charge-sheet, which has named five accused, was submitted in the court of Vadodara. (Representational Image: News18)

The police told the court through the charge-sheet that the one of the key accused had converted '100 to 200 Hindu girls to Islam and married them off'.

A key accused in a case related to alleged diversion of foreign funds by a charitable trust in Vadodara had converted "100 to 200 Hindu girls to Islam and married them off" using the money, according to a charge-sheet filed by the police in a Gujarat court.

The Vadodara police on Tuesday submitted the charge-sheet in the case wherein the managing trustee of a charitable trust and his aides had acquired foreign funds and illegally diverted them to covert people to Islam, build mosques and to provide legal help to anti-CAA protesters and rioters held in Delhi after the 2020 communal riots in the national capital.

The 1,860-page charge-sheet, which has named five accused, was submitted in the court of Vadodara's Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate PA Patel.

The police told the court through the charge-sheet that the one of the key accused in the case, Mohammad Umar Gautam, a resident of Delhi, had converted "100 to 200 Hindu girls to Islam and married them off".

Moreover, Gautam, a close aide of main accused Salauddin Shaikh, the managing trustee of Vadodara-based AFMI Charitable Trust, had also converted nearly 1,000 people of different faiths to Islam using the trust's funds, the document said.

Those who were converted to Islam included around 10 speech and hearing impaired people, the police said.

While Gautam, Shaikh and one Mohammad Mansoori, who used to work for Shaikh, were already arrested, the Vadodara police have shown London-based Abdulla Fefdawala, a native of Gujarat's Bharuch district, and UAE resident Mustafa Thanawala, originally from Mumbai, as absconders.Gautam was nabbed by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in June on charges of fraudulently converting people to Islam.

Later, the UP ATS also arrested Gautam's aide Shaikh from Vadodara for his involvement in diverting funds of the AFMI trust for conversions and other such purposes.

In August, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Vadodara police had registered a separate FIR against Shaikh, Gautam and others on charges of promoting enmity between different communities, forgery and criminal conspiracy under sections 153-A, 465 and 120-b, respectively, of the Indian Penal Code, said the police quoting the charge-sheet.The Vadodara police took custody of both the accused – Shaikh and Gautam – from the UP ATS earlier this month and brought them to the city.

They are currently in judicial custody.

As part of the conspiracy, Shaikh had used AFMI trust's FCRA account (meant to get contributions from overseas) to receive Rs 19.03 crore from foreign donors during the last seven years. With the help of UAE-based Thanawala, Shaikh received another Rs 60 crore through hawala and 'angadia' channels, the charge-sheet said.Hawala denotes illegal transaction of funds by skirting the legal banking channels, while 'angadia' refers to unofficial couriers.

Without the knowledge of other trustees and against the objectives for which the organisation was formed, Shaikh sent nearly Rs 60 crore to Gautam and others to facilitate conversion of people of other faiths to Islam in different parts of the country and to carry out other activities, including building mosques, said the charge-sheet.At the behest of Fefdawala, who had also sent funds to Shaikh, Rs 65 lakh was dispatched to their Delhi-based connections to provide legal help to anti-CAA protesters and rioters apprehended by the police in the national capital, it said.

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first published:November 24, 2021, 19:57 IST
last updated:November 24, 2021, 19:57 IST