Kaleem Siddiqui is an Islamic preacher, cleric, and prominent scholar from Muzaffarnagar, UP. He was arrested by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for his alleged involvement in an ‘illegal conversion racket’ in India.
Life and Activism
Kaleem Siddiqui completed his BSc from Meerut College and appeared for the All India Pre-Medical Test. He later came in contact with Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi and was admitted to Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama to study Islamic subjects. He did not get admission even after getting the opportunity to get admission to MBBS.
Circumstances of Arrest
“According to the ATS, the conversions were being done to “change the demography” and “create animosity” between different religious groups.”
The ATS alleged that the racket was a “well-oiled system” running over two decades, and the funds were used to lure and conduct the conversions in the name of relief and social work. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) started a probe into the alleged money laundering. The ATS claimed their probe revealed that the conversion racket has been ongoing for over two decades, and called it Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s “family business”.
Charges and Allegations
Police had booked Kaleem Siddiqui under sections of Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2020 and sections of the Indian Penal code for fraud (420), criminal conspiracy (120B) and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion (153a and 153b).
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Gujarat on 4th October 2021, submitted a memorandum to the Ahmedabad district collector demanding the immediate release of Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui who had been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police under anti-conversion law.
In a memorandum addressed to former President Ram Nath Kovind, Sabir Kabliwala, the AIMIM Gujarat president mentioned that India is a secular country which does not believe in a single or specific religion and the Constitution of India under Articles 25 and 26 grants freedom to its citizens to practise and propagate their own religion.
Not released yet.