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Religious Conversion Racket: ATS Arrests Sign Language Expert of Child Welfare Ministry

Representational image.

Representational image.

Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar identified the arrested expert for the deaf-mute sign language as Maharashtra native Irfan Khwaja Khan.

A sign language expert working in the Union Ministry of Child and Family Welfare was among the three more people arrested by the UP ATS on Monday for their alleged complicity in a religious conversion racket. Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar identified the arrested expert for the deaf-mute sign language as Maharashtra native Irfan Khwaja Khan.

ADG Kumar identified the two other arrested accused as Haryana native Munnu Yadav alias Abdul Mannan, a convert, and Delhi resident Rahul Bhola, himself a deaf-mute man, helping Irfan in identifying gullible students for the illegal conversion. Kumar said that Irfan, who works in the Ministry of Child Welfare, has good contacts among deaf people.

With his expertise in sign language, he has been seeking to wean their targets to Islam by poisoning their minds against other religions, including their own. The three new arrests followed the June 20 apprehension of New Delhi's Jamia Nagar residents Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam, who ran Islamic Dawah Center, an outfit working on the ISI funding for conversion of deaf-mute students to Islam.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Uttar Pradesh police which made the arrests has busted the illegal conversion racket and investigation it further, prompting the Enforcement Directorate to initiate a probe into the racket involving foreign funding and money laundering. The two arrested from Jamia Nagar in New Delhi on June 20 were booked under various sections of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2020 and IPC, Kumar told reporters on Monday.

During their interrogation names of three more people came to the fore as involved in the illegal conversion racket and they were arrested on Monday," he added. The ATS also seized various incriminating material, including laptops, cheque books, mobile phones, ATM cards and other documents from the trio, the ADG added.

Elaborating upon Irfan's role in conversion racket, ADG Kumar said he would allure gullible students to join Islam and put them in touch with Jahangir Alam and Umar Gautam of the Islamic Dawah Centre which would issue them conversion certificates. Irfan had converted Munnu Yadav and Aditya Gupta to Islam using the same ploy, the ADG said.

He said ATS is also ascertaining the exact number and details of UP natives who were persuaded by them to embrace Islam. After the UP ATS busted the illegal conversion racket funded by overseas agencies, the Enforcement Directorate too on June 25 registered a money laundering case.

After the June 20 arrests, ADG Kumar had told reporters that Gautam, who himself is a convert to Islam from Hinduism, boasted to the police of having converted at least 1,000 people to Islam, luring them with marriage, money and jobs. The officer had said the ATS had been working on the case after it obtained intelligence that some people were getting funds from ISI and other foreign agencies for converting poor people to Islam and spreading communal enmity in the society.

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