Gujarat man held for 'funding UP conversion racket'

Gujarat man held for allegedly funding religious conversion racket in Uttar Pradesh

According to police sources, Shaikh is a trustee of at least two registered NGOs, which have FCRA licences to receive foreign donations

Credit: iStockPhoto

In a joint operation, the Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested a resident of Vadodara in connection with the racket said to be involved in large-scale religious conversion. ATS officials said that the Vadodara resident Salauddin Shaikh allegedly funded the racket through hawala channel.

"We assisted the UP ATS in the arrest of Salauddin Sheikh from Vadodara in connection with the religious conversion racket busted in UP. Shaikh, about 55 years old, is suspected to have funded people involved in the racket," said Superintendent of Police, Gujarat ATS, Imtiyaz Shaikh. He added that the suspect was taken to Ahmedabad court for taking transit remand to be taken to UP for investigation.

According to police sources, Shaikh is a trustee of at least two registered NGOs, which have FCRA licences to receive foreign donations. He is alleged to have sent Rs 10 lakh through hawala channels to Mohammed Umar Gautam, a resident of UP, who is said to be the key accused in the case. Gujarat ATS officials said that "Sheikh is involved in at least three transactions."

In the past week, the UP ATS has arrested over five persons including Gautam for allegedly running the racket which is alleged to have converted hundreds of people to Islam in the past one and a half years.

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