A day after Maulana Mohammed Umar Gautam was sent to seven-day remand for running an ISI-funded conversion racket, Islamists took to Twitter to defend the accused on Thursday. The primary target of the cleric was poor differently-abled children and women.
UP-based ‘journalist’ Ali Sohrab, infamous for spreading fake news, wrote, “Indian media running propaganda against Maulana Umar Gautam to make him a villain. They are demonising him and using provocative language so that he doesn’t get any kind of support. #StandWithUmarGautam”
Islamist party, named after tyrant Tipu Sultan, alleged, “Whenever elections are announced in the country, the target is only and only Muslim. #StandWithUmarGautam.”
Another Muslim woman claimed that Umar Gautam was exercising his power under Article 25 (Right to Religion) of the Indian Constitution. Sayed wrote, “Despite Article 25 guaranteeing the freedom to propagate religion, Muslims get arrested for doing the same. India’s secular fabric has been torn to pieces where Hindutva goons get away with riots, but Muslims don’t even have the protection of the Constitution. #StandWithUmarGautam”
One Nayef Abdur Rahman gave a clean chit to Maulana Umar Gautam and his aide Mufti Jehnagir He claimed that there is ‘not an iota of truth’ in the accusations of the duo converting people through coercion and enticement..
While justifying forced conversions, a radical Islamist emphasised, “Allah has clearly mentioned in the Quran to call each other towards Haqq. Hidayat is in Allah’s hands only but as a Muslim it is our duty to learn Deen (religion) and spread its message. That’s what Maulana Umar Gautam was doing. And we stand with him unconditionally. #StandWithUmarGautam.”
On Thursday, Islamists had planned to execute a Twitter storm at 9:30 pm. Hoping for all Muslims to join the trend, one Zubair Memon wrote, “Ishallah full Ummah of India #StandWithUmarGautam. Be ready tonight at 9:30 pm.”
On June 21, the Uttar Pradesh ATS has arrested two men identified as Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jehangir involved in illegal religious conversions. According to police, women, and physically challenged children were their targets. The duo was arrested from the Jamia Nagar area in Delhi. Prashant Kumar, Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order), said that the arrested were running a conversion racket that was being funded by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI. He added, “The accused were using enticement, provocation and deceit to convert people apart from creating distrust and promoting enmity among different communities.”
Umar Gautam who is a convert himself revealed that they converted around 250-300 people every year. During the interrogation, Umar also informed that they targeted people from the economically weaker section of the society including women, children, and the disabled. They were also getting the women married so that they do not return to their original faith. Gautam confessed to having converted around 1,500 children at school for the deaf and mute in Noida after the school management was enticed with promises of employment and money.
Moreover, the converted children were being sent to a Southern state. The police approached the parents of such children. Gautam and his aide were booked under Sections 420, 120 B, 153A, 153B, 295, and 511 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3/5 the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020. They have been sent to 7-day remand on Wednesday (June 23).