'Liquor smuggler' behind conversions

Contested local elections on BJP ticket

In a new revelation on the recent ‘mass conversion’ of over 200 Muslims in Agra, it has now come to light that Nand Kishore Valmiki, the saffron leader instrumental in organising the programme, was a ‘liquor smuggler’ and had also been arrested earlier under the Gangster Act.

Police sources here said, Valmiki had been arrested with two others a few years back under Shaganj police station area in Agra on the Rajasthan border after a large quantity of illegal foreign made liquor had been seized from his vehicle.

Valmiki was also later arrested under the Gangster Act in another matter by Agra police.
“Both the cases are currently pending in the courts,” said a police officer here on Saturday.

Police sources said eight teams had been formed to nab Valmiki, who has been absconding after an FIR was lodged with police in connection with the ‘mass conversion’ case at Agra earlier this week.

A local court in Agra has also issued a non-bailable warrant against Valmiki.
Police have announced a reward of Rs 5,000 on Valmiki’s arrest.

“The amount of the reward may be increased to Rs 12,000 if he was not arrested soon,” said an officer in Agra.

“We are also trying to ascertain if Valmiki had organised similar programmes in the past,” the officer added.

Raids were being conducted at different places to nab Valmiki, police said, adding the teams could also go to the other states in his search. Valmiki, according to the sources, had also contested the elections to the local body in Agra on a BJP ticket earlier.

The new revelations are bound to embarrass the BJP, which has been making attempts to steer clear of the controversy and washed its hands of Valmiki.

The ‘mass conversion’ triggered a controversy with the opposition parties attacking the BJP government at the centre and demanding stern action against the saffron outfits.
An FIR has been lodged in Agra in this connection.

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